One of my favourite songs back in 1979:-

mp3 : The Members – The Sound Of The Suburbs

At the time, I thought it was a great punk record and I used to play it really loud just to annoy the hell out of my old man. Looking back on it now, it was really nothing more than glorified pub-rock with a cracking shout-a-long chorus. Not all that far removed from the sort of stuff that brought fame and fortune to Sham 69.

But quite clearly, us kids love it cos it spoke to us all about how miserable and bring life was and collectively we dragged into the pop charts where it reached #12 in the spring of 1979.

The follow-up single was one that I bought without ever hearing as that’s what you did with your favourite music and bands when you were 16 years old. At the time I hated it……I had no idea what the hell it was about, and to be honest I didn’t really care. Oh and the tune also annoyed me as it reminded me of the appalling Dreadlock Holiday by 10cc more than anything else. History shows that it was all just ahead of its time…..and by maybe around 1983, I realised that it was a genuine classic:-

mp3 : The Members – Offshore Banking Business/Pennies In The Pound (12″ version)

Trivia facts. The drummer in the band got his brother to produce some of the earliest material recorded by The Members. The drummer was Adrian Lillywhite…his brother’s name was Steve….and he went on to become one of the best-known and biggest-earning producers in the 80s and 90s. Oh and he also married Kirsty MacColl.

Offshore Banking Business was a top 40 hit, and many of the lyrics were courtesy of JC Carroll who had been a trainee merchant banker before joining the band. The band never enjoyed any further chart success with any of their five subsequent singles before they called it a day in 1981.

But like many others of their ilk, the chance to relive it all decades later proved too tempting to turn down and since 2007 the band have been on the road and in the studio making music for a living. I haven’t been tempted….


  1. When the band were playing Dundee’s Marriott Hall I bumped into two blokes trying to put a poster behind the windscreen wipers of car. “Why not put that in a record shop?” I asked. They then asked me where the nearest shop was. I took them to I&N, Chalmers & Joy and Bruce’s, all sadly gone. As I spent most of my wages in these shops, the posters were given prominent display. After the last shop, the boys asked if I was going to the gig. I said I was thinking about it but hadn’t got a ticket, to which they said they’d put me on the guest list. Thinking they were roadies I asked if they were allowed to do that. My mistake, I’d befriended JC and Chris. That night after they played, my girlfriend and I had some tins of beer with the band. Yvonne asked if she could get their autographs, and one of her treasured items was the only thing available, a black eyeliner scrawled set of signatures from The Members on a condom packet.

  2. The first band I ever saw was the Members at the Marquee. and the second band I ever saw was the Members at the Marquee. Because that’s what you do when you’re sixteen, and the first gig is the greatest thing that’s ever happened !

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