Shriekback are an English rock band formed in 1981 in Kentish Town by Barry Andrews, formerly of XTC and the League Of Gentlemen (keyboards/synthesizers/vocals), and Dave Allen, formerly of the Gang Of Four (bass), with Carl Marsh, formerly of Out On Blue Six (guitars/vocals) soon added to the line-up, later joined by Martyn Barker on drums.
The band enjoyed some success on the dance chart on their original Y Records label, and had a string of hits on the UK Indie Chart, while their debut album, 'Care' (1983) was picked up by Warner in the United States. They left Y for Arista Records for 1984's 'Jam Science'.
(Read more at Wikipedia.)
Links To Peel
Shriekback were regulars on the Peel show in the first half of the 1980s, recording three sessions, two of which were repeated as best of year selections, at the end of 1984 and 1985. Formed by ex-members of leading post-punk session bands, Shriekback quickly caught the attention of the DJ with early releases on the Y Records indie label, home to Peel show staples such as Slits, Pop Group, Glaxo Babies, Maximum Joy and Pigbag.
Despite the commercial potential of their rhythm-driven sound and later moves to major labels, however, Shriekback failed to make a national chart breakthrough. By 1988, Barry Andrews was the only remaining founder member.
In a 2018 online interview, Carl Marsh and Barry Andrews recalled doing the band's Peel sessions:
CM: Mostly great, especially the ones we did more as the live band, as opposed to attempting to recreate the records. ... Being let loose in Maida Vale is a real kid-in-a-sweetshop experience. Fantastic place.
BA: My experience was a bit more jaundiced. The studios were great but the BBC in those days was a Job-For-Life kinda set up. ... It was a good discipline in getting your shit together ahead of time, though. Not something the Shrieks of the early 80s were famous for.
Festive Fifty Entries
Three sessions. No known commercial release.
- Barry Andrews also 4 sessions with XTC, 1 with League Of Gentlemen.
- Dave Allen also 3 sessions with Gang Of Four.
- Carl Marsh also 2 sessions with Out On Blue Six.
1. Recorded 1982-07-26. First broadcast 11 August 1982.
- All The Greek Boys (Do The Hand Walk) / My Spine (Is The Base Line) / Feelers
- New Home / Under The Lights / Suck
- Everything That Rises Must Converge / Fish Beneath The Ice / Faded Flowers
Other Shows Played
- 20 July 1982: Accretions (mini-album - Tench) Y
- 26 August 1982 (BBC World Service): Mothloop (LP - Tench) Y
- 23 September 1982: My Spine Is The Bassline (single) Y Records
- December 1982 (BBC World Service): Despite Dense Weed (LP Birth Of The Y - Various) Y
- 19 January 1983: My Spine Is The Bassline (single) Y
- 23 January 1983 (BFBS): My Spine Is The Bass Line (7") Y
- 06 March 1983 (BFBS): Lined Up (7") Y
- 28 March 1983 (BBC World Service): All Lined Up (7") Y
- 06 April 1983 (BFBS): Clear Trails (album - Care) Y
- 10 April 1983 (BFBS): Into Method (album - Care) Y
- 25 April 1983 (BBC World Service): Clear Trails (album - Care) Y
- 01 June 1983 (BFBS): Working On The Ground (7") Y
- 28 July 1983: Lined Up (7") Y
- 17 August 1983 (BFBS): Accretions (Monstrous Dance Mix) (12" - Lined Up • My Spine) Y YT 106
- 05 September 1983 (BBC World Service): Into Method (Planet Mix) (12" - Lined Up • My Spine) Y YT 106
- 22 May 1984: Clear Trails
- 05 June 1984: Hand On My Heart
- 18 June 1984 (BBC World Service): Hand On My Heart (12") Arista
- 22 October 1984 (BBC World Service): Mercy Dash (Ready For This) (Extended Mix) (12") Arista
- 12 November 1984: All Lined Up
- 07 May 1985: Nemesis (12") Island
- 13 May 1985 (BBC World Service): Nemesis (2x7") Arista
- 29 May 1985: Nemesis (single) Arista
- 25 June 1985: Hammerheads (LP - Oil And Gold) Island (JP claims the song mentions the lyrics of 'John Peel running through the fields'. The lyrics are in fact 'Jumping, running through the fields', as Peel finally admits)
- 01 July 1985 (BBC World Service): Fish Below The Ice (LP - Oil And Gold) Arista
- 24 July 1985: Fish Below The Ice (LP – Oil & Gold) Arista
- 04 September 1985: Fish Below The Ice (7") Arista
- 11 September 1985: Fish Below The Ice (The Plankton Enriched Mix) (2x12" - Fish Below The Ice) Arista
- 28 October 1985: Fish Below The Ice (The Plankton Enriched Mix) (2x12" - Fish Below The Ice) Arista