Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Here's a classic from one of the all time Mod revival greats. Beat That! is still one of my favorite records. This info is from Wikipedia. In 1977, teenagers Jeff Shadbolt, Simon Stebbing, Bob Manton, and Nick Lake formed a band in Romford, Essex before they even knew how to play their instruments called The Sockets. The sole purpose was getting a support slot for the Buzzcocks at the East London Polytechnic, to debut their tongue-in-cheek rock opera, Reg. The amused audience took the amateurish teenage punks to their hearts and the group decided to soldier on. Several gigs followed, including an appearance on a float in the Romford Carnival.
In 1978, their drummer Nick Lake broke his leg and was replaced by Gary Sparks, the band switched their name to Purple Hearts, after an amphetamine-barbiturate mixture popular with the mods of 1960s. Accordingly, they changed their sound from the rough-edged punk rock which was already beginning to fall out of favour to a more mod-influenced sound, which, thanks largely to The Jam, was beginning to capture public attention.
Their biggest hit was their first single, "Millions Like Us" (1979), which peaked at #57 in the UK Singles Chart.They following year they issued their debut album, Beat That!, But the mod revival craze of 1979 was rapidly dissipating and they departed Fiction Records, over artistic differences. This precipitated an extended hiatus, with bassist "Just" Jeff Shadbolt joining The Rage with Buddy Ascott from The Chords. Simon Stebbing made records for Midnight Records as a member of 'Hearts on Fire', who released two 12 inch EPs and an album, Dreams of Leaving.
Purple Hearts resurfaced to release a live album, Head on Collision Time recorded live at the 100 Club, and their second studio effort, Popish Frenzy in the mid 1980s. They gigged intermittently through the late 1980s before once again petering out. They re-convened at the Mods Mayday '99 show, recorded for the Detour Records live compilation album. In 2003 Stebbing produced a rarities compilation, Smashing Time, also released on Detour Records. More recently he formed Speakeasy for an EP on Biff! Bang! Pow! Records, whilst helming his bands RT4, and current line-up, RT3, along with the former Hearts drummer Gary Sparks.
Simon Stebbing is currently an Information Technology teacher and is recording some solo work that he describes as "post-modernist progressive doom metal".
The band re-formed in 2009 and have confirmed dates for 2010.


topper said...


got this one too........including millions like us

fine band


Thanks Topper, The LP, Beat That!, Is great as well.

topper said...

Got that one as well.....

Anonymous said...

MU link gone awhile, any chance for new link, thanks

Frank Miller said...

No problem, It's going to take me a little time though.