|(Doodle) Bugs over Germany.|
The first video I ever uploaded for Trasharama on pootube was by The Bugs, I saw them many many times back in the day (though nowhere near as many as The Sting-Rays) & I adored them. They were loud & raucous, they had screaming fuzz guitars and their singer Martin, jumped & rolled around onstage like a freaked out monkey on acid......It was Trash Baby! & I fucking loved it!!
So....Tuning in my Trash antennae, I springtailed it to former guitarist Richard 'Midge' Smith & asked him if it mite be possible for a quick refresh history lesson as we shared a bite to eat & puffed on a few roaches.... this lousy piece is the result (apologies for the Bug puns, can't resist!)
|Rich, Lloyd, Malcolm X, Martin & Anton. |
In a genuine garage somewhere in hometown Colchester, double bass player Lloyd Tripp had started rehearsing with several different line-ups for a new band that didn't contain any members of the old one he had left (or was leaving). One of these early line ups featured Jonny Bridgwood from The Sting-Rays, who was temporarily living with Lloyd at the time.
Meanwhile... less than half a mile away from Lloyd, a bunch of local degenerate teens were working up a set of raging trashy garage sounds in their parents' garage under the moniker of The Half-Lings. They were influenced heavily by The Vibes, The Sting-Rays and The X-Men before turning on to 60’s garage punk obscurities for covers and inspiration.
The Half-Lings comprised of brothers Richard Smith - Guitar & Martin Smith - Stand-up Drums, Sean Smith - Guitar (no relation to the other 2), Jon Clarke - Vocals & Woodsy - Bass.
The band went on to gig in London, including Mike Spenser's famous Garage Club, downstairs at the Clarendon Hotel in Hammersmith & recorded a 3 track demo at Pathway studios in 1986 assisted by Bal & Jonny from The Sting-Rays. The demo's (which will hopefully turn up on Trash Wax one day), include a cover version of The Live Wires' 'Love' (complete with Bal rattling chains & smashing bottles in the background) and two originals, 'People Land' & 'In Retrospect', the latter of which had Jonny playing bass & would become part of The Bugs set the following year.
However, despite a growing following and burgeoning reputation, a couple of the members parents pulled them out of the band to focus on studying for their futures (singer Jon Clarke allegedly leaving to become an astronaut) & the Half-Lings were laid to rest in the garage graveyard.
|Supporting The Cannibals (That's Mike Spenser's back).|
After some original members of Lloyds' outfit went their separate ways, Richard and Martin then started rehearsing with Lloyd & Jonny. Once Jonny had moved backed to London, a permanent and exciting line-up was formed which consisted of: Martin Smith (vocals), Richard Smith (lead guitar), Lloyd Tripp (Double Bass), Malcolm X (Rhythm guitar) who had replaced Jason (?) after the first few gigs, & Anton (Duane Ripley) Rapley (Drums). Anton had earned his place banging on the tubs in the band by previously being the roadie for The Vibes, The Sting-Rays and also The Cramps.
|Green vinyl no less !|
After witnessing frantic sets by the boys, offers of record deals poured in from amongst others, Chainsaw, Red Rhino, Big Beat (Ace Records) & Media Burn. The Bugs eventually settled & signed for Big Beat, which delighted the band as Ted Carroll was a decent bloke & they got lots of free records, as well as a bit of cash.
|The one and only Big Beat release.|
Unfortunately, the toils of touring took their toll though and the band split months later, with Lloyd eventually moving to the States to start a new career & Malcolm & Anton moving on to whereabouts unknown.
|Sorry it's in German.|
|Nicked in Germany!|
When Miki departed to join The Baby Machines (who later renamed themselves Lush) in late '87, Mark (?) joined on bass & Pete Long joined as guitarist (replacing Dave) to fulfill yet another European tour. Band members were travelling between London & Colchester & it wasn't much longer before the logistics of the situation caused the band to sadly split up.
|By Bal Croce.|
There was a third incarnation of The Bugs which only Martin was involved with, operating around the early 90's & doing the odd gig in London. Gone was the fuzz filled garage sounds of previous line ups and in came a flute player & a more mellow vibe, needless to say it wasn't what the kids were after & again the band split for the last time around 1993. Old midgey is a bit vague on this period as he wasn't involved & doesn't really know what was going on.
In 2006, The Bugs “Darkside” was re-mastered and reissued on CD by Big Beat, gaining the band a new audience and bringing them back from obscurity. Who knows? A reform? Everyone else seems to be doing it but with Martin now living in Spain. Richard soon following suit, Lloyd in America and other members whereabouts unknown it seems most unlikely.
You never know though & there's always the possibility that some Trash that shoulda got waxed, will get waxed eventually. It's certainly time for people to rediscover this garbage & I'm sure they'll like how it smells.............. some of us know our shit from our shit..... capiche?