I'd like to thank Stephen Thompson from The Singles for this great band bio, I decided to delete my previous post, and combine both records into one post.
The Singles were formed in late 1979 by Andrew Campbell from the debris of the pop punk band ‘Broken Toys’ the band Andrew was co-writer in with David Virgin. David went on to form the psychedelic legends ‘Sekret Sekret’.
Initially the Singles line up was Andrew Campbell: guitar/ vocals, Tony Cook: drums and Rod Brunell: Bass. Later they were joined by Geoff Smith on lead guitar.
The Singles started playing the Sydney inner city scene in the early 1980s in venues such as the Civic, Rock Garden, Chequers, Frenchs, the Paddington Green and the Heritage Hotel. Their sound was post punk pop reminiscent of the Buzzcocks. Andrew’s writing was simple, melodic, catchy and straight to the point pop. Songs such as ‘Love of Loves’, ‘Stay’, ‘Perfect Girl’, ‘Sad Clown’ made instant connections to the young inner city Sydney audience moving on from the 1980 punk scene.
At the time there was also the first Mod revival emerging from the Sussex Hotel and a few Mods connected with the Singles. However the Singles were never a ‘Mod’ band and largely stuck to themselves not chasing any scene except their own.
In early 1980 the Singles release their first ep ‘Love of Loves’ on Double Think Records. This ep immediately sold out. The Singles continued to play to the inner city venues. The band soon found a loyal following on the lower North Shore too playing venues such as the Mosman and San Miguel hotels
Later in 1980 the Singles release ‘Someone that I knew’ on Basilisk Records and this further cemented their sound and their audience. ‘Someone that I knew’ started getting airplay on the ABC’s Sydney music station Double Jay. The Singles started to pack out the inner-city venues and booking agencies tried them in the large suburban beer barns where their post punk pop sound didn’t go down with audiences who were into the Aussie booze and biff culture and wanted the sounds of the Radiators, ‘Chisel’ and the Angels.
Around this time the legendary ‘Sunny Boys’ released “Love to Rule’ and they took off playing the suburban beer barns with their harder rock sound winning favour with suburban audiences. Soon the Singles found a slot supporting the Sunny Boys in the caverns of the Brookvale Hotel, Sylvania Hotel, Castle Hill Tavern, and Selinas at Coogee Bay. The Singles also found favour with the InXS audience and soon found support spots with them up and down the NSW coast.
After working hard live for most of 1980 Geoff Smith and Rod Brunell decided to leave to band to focus on their own projects. Andrew asked a mate Stephen Thompson to join the band. After placing an ad in a street press music paper for a bass player they found Andrew Richards formerly of legendary Adelaide band ‘Young Modern’.
The new line up started writing and rehearsing new songs and got back to playing live with a residency at the San Miguel Hotel in autumn 1981. The new sound was different and many of their inner city supporters had moved on. Then interestingly enough the band started to attract a new support base along with their north shore following, this time from the ‘Shire’ area of Caringbah and Sutherland. The kids in these areas rejected the bland booze and biff surfer culture of the area and were looking something different, sharp and smart. The Singles started to play the Caringbah Inn along with the traditional venues in the inner city and the lower North Shore.
The Singles continued to work hard live consolidating their following and making a push into Sydney’s Western Suburbs where they still found hostility as they were considered ‘wimps’. The Singles then added a new venue where they consistently drew good audiences, The Sydney Trade Union Club. The ‘Trades’ as it was know was the new hub of Sydney’s alternative and inner city scene. Here the Singles headlined their own shows and played many great supports to the likes of the Church, the Divinyls, Hunters and Collectors, Sunny Boys, Serious Young Insects, Laughing Clowns and Sardine V.
The Singles continued to work hard through 1982 and recoded the single ‘The Party’ in late 1982. However the scene had moved on and no label would release the record. After many knock backs Andrew Richards decided leave the band. This line up played their last show at the Sydney Trade Union Club in November 1982.
Disheartened but not beaten Andrew and Stephen recruited a new bass player Tim Bottrell and a new guitarist, Stephen’s brother David Thompson. In mid 1983 they recorded the single ‘The Day’. The Singles then played a few shows through 1983 at the Graphic Arts Club keeping a low profile. The band tried to secure a label to release ‘The Day’ but to no avail. The Singles version 3 then became less active. In late 1984 ‘The Day’ was featured on Survival Records compilation ‘Shake and Shout’ that is a record of those heady times of the inner-city pop scene.
Andrew and Tony never played again. Stephen went on to form Doppelgangers in the late 1988 with Christa Hughes. Doppelganger released a self funded release ‘Speak to Me’ in 1989 and a 12” single ‘Sweet Smell of Success in 1990 an album ‘Face the Truth’ 1993 on Phantom Records. Stephen currently works under the pseudonym ‘Les Années’ and with a self titled psychedelic artpop album out on Melbourne’s ‘Off The Hip Records’
Doublethink Records 1980
1. Love Of Loves
3. Sad Clown
Basilisk Records 1980
1. That's Just Someone That I Knew
2. If You'll Only