Previously known variously as Beano, the Press and the Jones, Liverpool, England’s Afraid Of Mice was formed in early 1979 by ex-Next member Philip Franz Jones (guitar/vocals), who for six years struggled with continuously fluctuating personnel to find a suitable, permanent line-up. He was initially joined by Geoff Kelly (bass) and Clive Gee (drums), with Sam Brew (guitar) added to the line-up on their debut album. With the emergence of bands such as Echo And The Bunnymen, the Teardrop Explodes and OMD, there was a great deal of interest in the second ‘Liverpool Scene’. Consequently, the band’s appearance on a local compilation, A Trip To The Dentist, initiated a contract with Charisma Records. Following two well-received singles, ‘I’m On Fire’ and ‘Intercontinental’, Afraid Of Mice was released in 1982, with one-time David Bowie producer Tony Visconti at the controls. Described as ‘power pop with an edge’, its mixture of punchy guitars, angry lyrics and simple, classic pop achieved considerable critical acclaim. Even so, commercial success proved much more elusive. After one final single, ‘At The Club’, and a give-away flexi-disc, ‘Transparents’, they parted company with Charisma. Although they continued to play live under various names including the Lumberjack Ballet, Afraid Of Mice’s final vinyl appearances were the live Official Bootleg in 1983 and a solitary track, ‘Don’t Take Your Love Away’, on the Jobs For The Boys compilation in 1985. Afraid Of Mice were finally laid to rest in 1986 when Phil Jones teamed up with Alex McKechnie (ex-Passage; Modern Eon) in Two’s A Crowd. They eventually became Up And Running, releasing the Live At Lime Street album. There was a one-off reunion gig at Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre in 1994.
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