Back To The Planet

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This sprawling collective became a fixture on the UK festival circuit in the early 90s thanks to their potent blend of dance music, ska and punk traditions. Based in Camberwell, London, members included…
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This sprawling collective became a fixture on the UK festival circuit in the early 90s thanks to their potent blend of dance music, ska and punk traditions. Based in Camberwell, London, members included Fil ‘the Girl’ Walters (b. 31 January 1970, Dartford, Kent, England; vocals), Carl Hendrickse (b. 28 January 1970, London, England; bass), Fraggle (b. David Fletcher, 5 August 1968, Kent, England; guitar), Henry Nicholas Cullen (b. 10 October 1969, Lewisham, London, England; drums) and Guy McAffer (b. 27 May 1969; keyboards). Together they created an enchanting cocktail of simple but effective goodtime music whose lyrics were often overtly political. Their recordings were originally only available on cassette, notably 1991’s album-length Warning The Public which sold 5, 000 copies at gigs alone. The band also built up a loyal live following through their appearances at various festivals, including the notorious Castlemorton rave. Their first vinyl release was the 12-inch ‘The Revolution Of Thought’, though 1993 singles ‘Teenage Turtles’ (a New Musical Express Single Of The Week) and ‘Please Don’t Fight’ looked most likely to see them accepted by a hesitant media.

Signed to London Records subsidiary Parallel, after a minor bidding war among the majors, Back To The Planet began the new year headlining the New Musical Express ’ On Into 93 showcase gig and gracing the cover of that magazine. However, the liaison with a major record label did not work out, and after just a year the band was again recording independently on their Arthur Mix label. The mail order A Potted History collected their previous cassette releases. Predictably, by the arrival of 1995’s Messages After The Bleep, the mainstream music media had moved on and the band split up not long afterwards.