Serious Drinking

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Formed after attending the University of East Anglia, Norwich, England, in February 1981 this motley assortment of ex-students carved a niche for themselves in the independent charts of the early 80s…
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Formed after attending the University of East Anglia, Norwich, England, in February 1981 this motley assortment of ex-students carved a niche for themselves in the independent charts of the early 80s by injecting their songs with comedic candour. Jem (bass) was an outspoken member of the Socialist Workers Party, although Lance (the only one not to attend UEA, drums), Martin Simon (ex-Higsons) and Eugene (the two singers) and Andy (ex-Farmers Boys; guitar) were more concerned with football and alcoholic beverages. The explanation for the presence of two singers was typically straightforward: ‘Eugene is in the band because Martin wanted a lift to a practice and Eugene had a car and he’s just stayed ever since’. They took their name from a headline announcing an interview with the Cockney Rejects in Sounds. Pigeonholed as leaders of some mythical ‘herbert’ movement, they did nevertheless have a penchant for traditional British leisure pursuits. The singles ‘Love On The Terraces’ and ‘Hangover’ both fared well in the independent charts, the former produced by Mark Bedford of Madness. The latter included the impressive ‘Baby I’m Dying A Death’ as its b-side, culled from the band’s popular John Peel radio session. The Revolution Begins At Closing Time and They May Be Drinkers Robin, But They’re Still Human Beings fully displayed their eccentricity. The band’s philosophy was still crystal-clear, ‘Basically what we’re saying is go out, get drunk and enjoy yourself, and don’t be nasty to other people.’ Unfortunately, after ‘Country Girl Became Drugs And Sex Punk’ (another borrowed headline), both Gem and Lance departed. Karen Yarnell (ex-Gymslips) joined on drums and they released Love On The Terraces, a collection of favourite tracks and new recordings to coincide with the World Cup in 1990. Stranger Than Tannadice followed and was accompanied by sporadic live appearances.