The 'Bullies were based around
the infamous 'Bungalow' in Rayleigh and they existed for about a year,
from 1980 - 1981, and then spilt up. The best source of info on them is
to be found in New Crimes fanzine Issue #2, from where the following info
This interview took place in 1980, a week after they'd won heat 4 of the
Rock Contest at Shrimpers:
A: "When we were The Spurts we
used to have a residency at the Van Gogh, and then The Spurts split up...I
dunno, but it all leads up to The School Bullies, anyway. The Bullies
started originally as a joke, right? We rehearsed some Damned numbers,
and we decided to play up the Double Six one Wednesday, which is jam night.
We just played for a laugh but it went down so well we decided to keep
the band together. We told everyone that the School Bullies were playing,
which is a name The Damned played under, and everyone spunked up thinking
that The Damned were really playing a secret gig...We all dressed the
part and that...The Drummer looked more like Dick Emery than Rat Scabies.
Anyway after a while it sort of turned serious."
Q: Who is in the band?
A: "Perry, Ralph, Paul and Clive.
He's the one with blue and green hair."
Q: When did you change from being The Spurts to The School Bullies?
A: "About January (1980) this
How did you feel about doing so well in the contest?
A: "Well, we come off the stage,
and 'cos we're a punk band we thought we'd be third or fourth if we were
lucky, we thought we'd done well, we thought it was one of our best gigs,
and then when the bloke came over and told us we'd won we just couldn't
believe it. You play to this lot and it's R&B or nothing. We thought
we'd have no chance, being a punk band. Some people have said it was a
fix. Someone came up to me and said " Come on, tell us the truth,
was it a fix?", which is a load of shit as far as we're concerned.
Everything we do is just for a laugh once we're on stage. We're playing
for ourselves but we're playing for the crowd at the same time. We just
want people to enjoy us. They've told us there is a lot of money to be
won, and I know that everyone says this, but with us it's true - we're
not in it for the money."
Q: What gigs did you do before Shrimpers?
A: We played Crocs twice, but they
were private parties, we were hired, like. We played another party at
the Van Gogh as well."
Q: What songs do you do?
A: We do 'Ballroom Blitz', we do a
few Damned songs, 'Love Song' and stuff. We started out doing only Damned
covers, but we're slowly trying to fade their stuff out in favour of our
own stuff. There's one original we do which is nearly three year old,
that's 'Coming' an old Spurts thing, although it's a disco version now.
There's a reggae one, 'The Fighting Continues'. We had the reggae tune,
but we didn't have the words to fit. That's what usually happens. Me and
Clive, we get a tune worked out on Guitar and Bass, then we both write
Do you write or sing about anything in particular?
A: Well I only write when I'm out
of order. I write a song and think 'This is crap' then I show it to the
others and they usually like it. With The Spurts we used to sing about
perverted sex all the time...Only as a joke, mind...but now that doesn't
come into it. We don't sing about anything in particular. Our songs are
much better with the Bullies. With The Spurts it was a thrash, but now
we're more musical, more composed. We prefer it that way."
The Bullies had some great songs, with 'The Fighting Continues', 'Coming'
and 'Who's Laughing Now?', and the band recorded a demo at Spectrum studios
in Westcliff. The band were together for a year or so, and by 1981 had
split. Clive Kemp would go on to form Cry Dyaan and Jackal with Steve
Ritchie (aka Vom of Dr & The Medics infamy), and certain Bullies songs
lived on for a while, as Mark Bristow's band The Sickies used to play
'Coming' and Wickfords Death Obsession (later called The Last Laugh) would
cover 'The Fighting Continues'.