The School Bullies
The Bullies - L-R: Paul, Ralph - Live at Basildon Rock Festival - 17.08.80 (Photograph c/o Daryl Bamonte)
The Bullies - Live at Scamps - Press Advert
The Bullies - Clive - Live at Basildon Rock Festival - 17.08.80 (Photograph c/o Daryl Bamonte)
Paul, Ralph - Live -17.08.80
(Photograph c/o Daryl Bamonte)
Live at Scamps - Press Advert
Clive - Live - 17.08.80
(Photograph c/o Daryl Bamonte)
...The Story...

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 came from.

This interview took place in 1980, a week after they'd won heat 4 of the Rock Contest at Shrimpers:

Q: History:
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 year."

The Bullies in New CrimesQ: 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 words separately.

The Bullies - Live at Scamps Q: 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'.

Special Southend Punk Feature - Click Here to see a special School Bullies Gallery!

'Southend Punk Volume One' - Angels in Exile Records (AIECD 004) - Features The Bullies song 'The Fighting Continues'

'Southend Punk Volume One' - Features The Bullies song 'The Fighting Continues' - CD (Angels in Exile Records AIECD 004) - 2020


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