Demented Are Go

Demented Are Go
Demented Are Go
Origin Cardiff, Wales
Genres Psychobilly, punk rock
Years active early 80s - present
Holger Grothe
Criss Damage

Demented Are Go are a Welsh psychobilly band that was formed around 1982 in Cardiff. They were one of the earliest in the initial wave of bands to mix punk rock with rockabilly, and as a result, are considered to be highly influential to the psychobilly scene.

The band often claims their name originated from the phrase "Demon teds are go!," an adaptation of the phrase "Thunderbirds are go!" from the Thunderbirds TV series, as rockabillies are known as teds and psychobilly is often associated with horror.



Demented Are Go got their start in Penarth, South Wales, near Cardiff. Initially, the band was disorganised, with Mark Phillips or "Sparky" playing drums, Ant Thomas singing, a bass player with his hair dyed red, and a "rock icon" with a gold-top Les Paul guitar and leather keks on rhythm guitar. Dick, a veteran of the punk/pub rock circuits, joined the band in early 1983, reshuffled the line up (Ant moved to drums & Sparky to vocals), taught the bass player and generally consolidated things.

After six weeks of rehearsals, the band's first gig was third on the bill to a line-up of Crass-type anarchist bands at the Sea Lion in Penarth and was met with good reception. Several years of playing everything from working men's clubs in the Rhondda to the red-light district in Hamburg, turning up at the Klub Foot twenty minutes after they were due on stage. They recorded two songs for their first release on a 1984 compilation, Hell's Bent On Rockin' from Nervous Records, a well known record label in the psychobilly scene. These tracks were engineered and co-produced by Paul "Doc" Stewart at Village Way Recording. In 1986, they released their first album, In Sickness & In Health, on ID Records, which was recorded in less than 24 hours with 90% first takes, with Ray Thompson on bass. The core members at this time remained Mark, Ant and Dick.

The band moved to London in 1986 in an attempt to be closer to regular work. Dick left in 1987 after continuing frustration with the direction the band was taking. Undeterred,the then new double bass player and song writer graeme grant, recruited lex"luther(at dicks last klubfoot gig) to replace Dick, who incidentally coached Lex to bring him up to speed with the band's material. This was followed with their second full-length Kicked Out of Hell album that reached high positions in the indie charts both here and abroad in 1988. The band began extensively touring Europe and gained both a psychobilly and punk rock following. At this point, the lead singer, Sparky, became addicted to Psychoactive drugs(LSD) and alcohol.At this point graeme and lex both left the band at the end of 89,lex rejoined the band only after a short break."billy munster" was to replace graeme on double bass.(graeme was to return back on bass in 1992.)

In 1990, the band went back to the studio, though without any songs. They were able to write and record an EP for Link Records, The Day the Earth Spat Blood, within the span of three days. The band went on another European tour in 1991, writing and recording their next full-length for [Fury Records], Orgasmic Nightmare. This album also to contained input from their old bassist graeme the flying vicar) on the road. then in 1992 The band would tour almost constantly for the next two years. A second album for Fury Records, Tangenital Madness On A Pleasant Side Of Hell, was recorded in 1993, followed by two tours in Japan. The band was infamous for Sparky showing up to Japanese performances naked and doing strange things with a rubber fish...!

During a tour in Germany in spring 1995, the band broke up due to Sparky's deteriorating mental state. However, in 1996, Demented are Go reformed to release the EP'I Wanna See You Bleed! for Hell Razor Records.(this would be graemes last recording with the band) The band then toured the west coast of the United States|U.S. in 1997. They would again be known more for their wild stage show, which included on-stage sex with vacuum cleaner"At the end of 1997 graeme grant left the band due to other commitments But before leaving would recruit "stan the man" on guitar, graeme still remains friends with the band to this day.

The band released the full-length Hellucifernation for Crazy Love Records in 1999. However, a European tour for the record's release was cancelled due to Sparky's mental problems returning. The band considered breaking up, but were offered a headlining gig in New Jersey and decided to give Sparky a second try. Upon arrival, Sparky first caused trouble at the hotel by cross-dressing and doing drugs, then setting fire to a surrounding woodland at the music venue. After their soundcheck, the band went to a nearby shopping mall where Sparky pinched a girl's behind. She turned out to only be 16, so he was arrested and charged with molesting a minor. Unable to pay the $60,000 bail, the rest of the band left him in jail and returned to England.

After a month in jail and a $100 fine, Sparky returned to England where the Demented Are Go line-up underwent numerous changes. The band went through a period of stability, with Lex Luther re-joining the band along with drummer Criss Damage and Paul 'Choppy' Lambourne on Double Bass They played two U.S. tours and recorded a live album (with Kelvin Klump replacing Choppy on Double bass) Live at the Galaxy, for Crazy Love Records as well as many European festival appearances. However, in the summer of 2003, Sparky was arrested numerous times on the road, resulting in more line-up changes. The band continued touring including a successful Japanese tour and another tour of the USA led by Sparky & including psychobilly scene stalwarts Strangy (Double Bass) & Doyley (Guitar) until September 2005, then split again. During a month-long break, a new album Hellbilly Storm was released on German label People Like You Records. The line up on this recording was Sparky, Strangy, Doyley, Criss Damage, Stan, Lex Luther and special guests Charlie Harper and Country Woman.

At the beginning of the 2006 U.S. tour, Sparky was detained by U.S. immigration authorities due to his criminal history, and he was sent back to England. The U.S. tour was cancelled but Demented Are Go still played shows in Europe.


Studio albums


  • Holy Hack Jack (12" single) (ID Records - EYE T8) - 1986
  • Marijuana (7" Single) (Fury Records) - 1993
  • German Tour Single (Limited edition 7" of 1000 copies) (Pin Up Records - Pin Up 95032) - 1995
  • I Wanna See You Bleed!! (10" single) - Scandal Records 1996
  • Demons of the Swamp (Limited edition 7" of 1000 copies) (Krueger Records - BZH666) - 1997
  • Daddy's Making Monsters (7" Single) (Crazy Love Records) - 1999
  • Hotrod Vampires / Out of Control (7" Single) (People Like U Records) - 2005


  • The Best of Demented Are Go (Dojo Records) - 1993
  • Satan's Rejects 1: The Very Best of Demented Are Go (Anagram Records) - 1997
  • Satan's Rejects 2: The Very Best of Demented Are Go (Harry May Records) - 1999
  • I Wanna See You Bleed!! (Remastered with live and demo tracks) (Hell Razer Records) - 2000

Live albums

  • Sick Sick Sick (ID Records - NOSE 15) 1987
  • Live and Rockin (Link Records - LINL LP 116) - 1990
  • Go Go Demented (Link Records - LRMO 5) - 1990
  • Live in Japan (Tombstone Records - TOMB-DISK 705/2) - 1993
  • Who Put Grandma Under the Stairs (Receiver Records) - 1996
  • Stomping at the Klubfoot (Mayo Records) - 2002
  • Live at the Galaxy (Crazy Love Records) - 2003
  • Call of the Wired (Cherry Red Records) - 2004


External links

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