Sex Clark Five

"The Sex Clark Five come from Huntsville, Alabama, and that kind of conjures up, probably quite unjustly, but something terribly redneck. I mean, I've never been to Huntsville, Alabama: it may be a terribly sophisticated place for all that I know. But you imagine it's going to be kind of iron boogie, he he he!, people that have got every record that Lynyrd Skynyrd ever made. But the Sex Clark Five are nothing like that." [1]

Sex Clark Five (abbreviated SC5) is an underground indie rock band formed in the early 1980s in Huntsville, Alabama. Calling their inventive, sawed-off power pop songs "strum and drum" (a pun on Sturm und Drang), SC5 released several albums that featured the jangly Rickenbacker guitar sound characteristic of Southern college rock bands of the time, including R.E.M. Guitarists James Butler and Rick Storey and drummer Trick McKaha were all friends from Huntsville High School. After stints in Kinks cover and pseudo punk bands, the three recruited bassist Joy Johnson.

Primary singer/songwriter Butler built quirky, catchy melodic hooks around lyrics that often included offbeat European historical references, and wrapped them around rapidly strummed guitars and rave up surf guitar riffs. Politically charged tunes such as "Liberate Tibet" and "Sarajevo" were called prophetic by some critics. In spite of their political content, SC5's songs were often filled with the kind of wry, outlandish humor exemplified by the band's name (a play on The Dave Clark Five). SC5 would count both Goethe and the Marx Brothers as musical influences. They have described the formula for their music as "pretty much cruddiness buoyed by epic dumbness." [2] The band was also notorious for erratic live shows. Drummer Trick McKaha would sometimes wear a bag over his head.... Read more

Links to Peel

The band came to Peel's attention when he was given a copy of their debut EP, "Neita Grew Up Last Night." After playing the disc on his show repeatedly, he asked the band to send more. The band toured sporadically and recorded four Peel sessions, which invariably went beyond the normal four tracks and usually featured many unreleased tracks (the last was a set composed entirely of Marc Bolan covers). The Five were also regular correspondents:

"As I’ve mentioned to you previously I often write sad little letters to American Bands. And most of them don’t write back, as a matter of fact. The Sex Clark Five do though and they get their records played in the programme. Could this be a coincidence or not?" [3]

Johnson left the group in 1993 and was replaced by singer Laura E. Lee. Trick left the group in 1995, although he played accompaniment on some of the later releases. Butler and Storey collaborated on Crimson Panzer (2000), which again appeared almost exclusively on Kat's Karavan.

Festive Fifty Entries

  • None
    Sex Clark Five - Yellowhammer 2000

    Sex Clark Five - Yellowhammer 2000


  • Four sessions, none commercially released.

1. Recorded: unknown. First broadcast: 18 July 1990. Repeated: 06 September 1990

  • Microwave Music / Modern Fix / Netta Grew Up Last / Mongol Song / America Under The Mongol Yoke Prelude / Can't Shake Loose / She Collides With Me (first TX on repeat)

2. Recorded: unknown. First broadcast: 20 May 1994. No repeats.

  • Faith, Brandy On Fire / Window To The Works / Silver Wave / Alai / A Chance / Crime / Dark Eyed Brooch / Ashabanipaul

3.Recorded: unknown. First broadcast: 26 July 2000. No repeats.

  • Prove You're Wrong / Talent Is An Asset / Capetown Races / Radio Pretoria / Harrier / (She Loved Me) Yesterday / Moonrock / Bastille Sun / Khartoum / Antedium / She Don't Care About Time

4. Recorded: unknown. First broadcast: 11 June 2002. No repeats.

  • By The Light / Light Of Love / Fist Heart Mighty Dawn Dart / She Was Born To Be My Unicorn / For So Long, I Was Looking At Her, Cut Up Ray

Other Shows Played

External Links

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.