Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Thee Headcoats

Thee Headcoats were a band comprising Billy Childish, Bruce Brand, and Johnny Johnson. Childish was featured on guitar and vocals, Brand on drums and backing vocals, and Johnson on bass. The band was the most prolific of Childish's many musical projects, releasing fourteen full length albums. Formed in Kent, England in the late 1980s, the band was well known for its garage rock sound, explicitly sticking to this format on almost all of their albums. The band's signature sound as well as their prolific writing has been attributed to Childish's love of simple, direct recording. The band has been on multiple labels including Billy's own Hangman Records and Sub Pop.

Described in the New York Times as 'the king of garage rock', Billy and Thee Headcoats actually grew out of the British punk scene of the 1970s (both Billy and Bruce Brand playing in The Pop Rivets. The band recorded songs by The Clash under the pseudonym Thee Stash. The band also recorded a tribute album to Bo Diddley called Bo in Thee Garage. On their debut album, the band recorded new versions of songs written by Son House including "John the Revelator" and "Child's Death Letter," both of which were later covered by The White Stripes upon whom Thee Headcoats were a great influence. These three influences give a good idea of what the band's sound was like; punk mixed with pure rhythmic rock 'n' roll and blues.

The band played their final concert on May 12, 2000 at the Dirty Water Club. Billy Childish went on to play with The Buff Medways from 1999 to 2006. His latest group is The Musicians of The British Empire.

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