Punk/New Wave legends The Rezillos, who came to fame with the 1978 top 20 hit, ‘Top of the Pops‘ have announced an eight gig tour of the UK.
- The Sex Pistols had just about hung up their boots, most punk bands were fronted by angry young youths spitting and snarling angst and vitriol against, well pretty much everything really. Other outfits with a bit more, but not too much, polish to their act, were already been labelled as post-punk or new wave. In amongst it all another new breed of bands were emerging. Still three chord wonders, but without the sneering politics or dark themes of their contemporaries.
Merging their sound with elements of 50’s rock ‘n’ roll, the beat bands of the 60’sand a smattering of glam rock showmanship. Influences came from, not what was going on around them but from old B movies, science fiction, comic book and schlock horror. Offering a more light hearted, yet still acceptable, alternative to the mainstream. Leading the way from the USA we had The Cramps and the B-52’s. Here in the UK we had The Rezillos.
Formed in Edinburgh in 1976, The Rezillos, Fay Fife, Eugene Reynolds, “Hi-Fi” Harris, Dr D.K. Smythe, Will Mysterious, and Angel Paterson took to the road applying their unique take on classic 50’s and 60’s hits such as ‘I Like It’, ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’ and ( the song they became best known for outside the UK.) ‘Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked in Tonite’. Playing extensively throughout 1977, they were an immediate success and garnered a wide and loyal fan base.
Their success didn’t go unnoticed and it wasn’t long before they were attracting the attention of some of the more influential, and major record labels of the time. After receiving a telegram from New York, they became the first UK act to sign to Sire records, and became stable mates to The Ramones and Talking Heads. The band’s debut album, ‘Can’t Stand The Rezillos’ is regarded as a classic punk/new wave album.
Released in1978 along with their third single ‘Top of the Pops’ both the 7” and the LP saw top twenty chart positions.
All looked good from the outside. ‘Top of the Pops’ was followed with ‘Destination Venus’ and a full UK tour supporting The Undertones was underway.
But internally the band was falling apart. Fife and Reynolds were a definite item, but the others felt far less amorous towards each other. With Fay suffering from damaged vocal chords and tensions between band members rising they quit the tour half way through. Not able to resolve things fully, December of the same year saw The Rezillos called it a day.
Reforming in a new guise as The Revillos, the band saw an ever changing line up, with Fife and Reynolds been the only constant. They continued with limited chart success, but continued to pull in the crowds and (just like the cliché), became very big in Japan, only to split again in 1985.
In 2001 they were cajoled into playing at their hometown New Year’s Eve Hogmanay show, where they went down a storm. This lead to a string of shows around the world, and when their version ‘ Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonite’ featured in the Jackass:The Movie a whole new generation of fans started turning up at their gigs.
In 2011 the band received the title of ‘Legend’ when they received a Tartan Clef award at the Scottish Music Awards.
November 2012 Fay and Eugene, accompanied by fellow founder member, Angel Paterson did their first ever full length tour of the USA. Having only previously played once in the states at the legendary CBGB’s back in 1978, the tour took in the East and West Coasts of the USA, Mid-USA and Canada. This year sees the band releasing a new album and touring throughout the UK in March and April.
March 29 – The Square, Harlow
April 4 – Under The Bridge. London
April 5– The Aquarium, Lowestoft (with Stuzz Energy)
April 11 – The Brickyard, Carlisle
April 17 – Bootleggers Bar, Kendal
April 18 – 53 Degrees, University of Central Lancashire
April 19 – Eric’s, Liverpool
April 20 – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds (with Spizzenergi )
May 23 – Oran Mor, Glasgow
May 24 – Liquid Room, Edinburgh
May 30 – The Georgian Theatre, Stockton-On-Tees
May 31 – The Witchwood, Ashton (Manchester)
June 1 – The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen
June 6 – The Cluny, Newcastle
June 7 – The Doghouse, Nottingham
Tickets available here – Rezillos tickets