The U.K Subs are a band hailing from London, England who formed in 1976. For nearly forty years they have remained one of the most respected British punk bands of all time, and have released over 20 studio albums since their debut 1979.
Originally formed under the name U.K Subversives, lead singer Charlie Harper wanted his band to bridge a divide that Harper felt shouldn’t be there. A rhythm & blues blues singer by trade, he nonetheless felt a strong kinship with the up and coming punk rock movement. In his mind, it shared too many similarities with the thriving, blues influenced pub-rock scene to be separate from it. So in 1976, he put together the first line-up of what would later become the U.K Subs to act as a bridge between the two scenes. Despite the line-up of the band changing frequently at first, the band scored their first session on Radio 1 legend John Peel’s radio show in 1977, and would go on to have several more in the next two years. These sessions were vital to the success of the band, and as a direct result of them they scored a record deal with GEM Records in 1979.
They released their debut album “Another Kind Of Blues” the very same year, and both the album and its lead single “Stranglehold” were top 30 hits on the albums and singles charts. Between 79’ and 81’ the band were hailed as one of the last true punk bands to see mainstream success, with their 1980 album “Crash Course” rocketing into the top ten at number eight. However, they were not able to maintain this kind of success, especially as straight punk rock was becoming increasingly passé in the face of the much cooler New Wave movement. However, Harper and the Subs were far stronger than fashion, and the band kept on going stronger than they ever were, releasing album after album and touring with the likes of The Ramones and Agent Orange all throughout the 1980’s.
The band remain cult heroes to this very day, a band who many more famous acts wouldn’t exist without. Guns N’ Roses themselves paid tribute to them on their covers record “The Spaghetti Incident?” with a version of their track “Down On The Farm”. With a back catalogue of tracks that would make any punk band worth their salt green with envy, and a live show that delivers every single time, the U.K Subs come highly recommended.
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