This UK skiffle-cum-blues jug band act originally comprised Jona Lewie (b. John Lewis, 14 March 1947, Southampton, Hampshire, England; keyboards/vocals), Graham Hine (guitar/vocals), Jim Pitts (guitar, vocals, harmonica), Pete Gibson (trombone, vocals, percussion), Dave Arnott (drums) and percussionists Keith Trussell (aka Keef Trouble) and Big John Randall. A group of teachers and pupils from Crawley, Sussex, banded together, little knowing that over 30 years later they would still be treating audiences to a unique brand of music. Their 1970 debut album aroused novelty-based interest, but the unit only enjoyed commercial success after adopting the pseudonym Terry Dactyl And The Dinosaurs. An ensuing single, ‘Seaside Shuffle’, reached number 2 in 1972, but the Thunderbolts reverted to their original name when subsequent releases failed to repeat its success. Lewie embarked on a solo career following the group’s first break-up, later achieving a UK hit with the Christmas classic ‘Stop The Cavalry’.
Various permutations of the Thunderbolts continue to gig on the club scene, where their brand of loose blues and R&B remains hugely popular. In not compromising their music they have built a loyal following, and regularly feature onstage, in addition to regular instruments, their own bizarre inventions such as the Zobstick, the Lager Prone and the Electric Ironing Board. In 1993, with Randall now also acting as their road manager, the line-up for Boogie Street saw the addition of Taffy Davies (vocals, piano, clarinet, mandolin) and Pete Swan (bass). By the new millennium, original members Pitts, Hine, Trussell, Randall and Gibson were all present and correct, with Davies and bass player Dougie Strathie completing the line-up.