Bands that disappear – I seem to have a knack of falling for new bands that produce one album, maybe a single or two, then just…disappear…..

Back in the 70s it was The Fire Exits, a pre-punk band from Sheffield who had a moody, theatrical stage show, were musically well removed from straight forward rock and attracted enough attention to merit a full page spread in Zigzag magazine. Saw them twice, the second time supporting The Damned I think. Couldn’t wait for their first single but it never came. They just disappeared.

Roughly contemporaneous but more enduring, Doctors of Madness released three albums eventually and seemed to gig endlessly. Their line-up of bass, drums, rhythm guitar and violin gave them a novelty value but the music stood in its own right. Seeing the Super 8 footage on the website is eerie, over 25 years on. They continued to gig after punk, Kid Strange embracing the original punk ethos and praising T V Smith from the stage, but they just didn’t fit and, although they had a large fan base, the industry had moved on, leaving them behind. Richard (Kid) Strange toured a little with his one man show “The Phenomenal Rise of Richard Strange” and I think he was involved with Cabaret Futura. I spotted him briefly as “man behind the counter in a porn shop” in Neil Jordan’s film “Mona Lisa”, and he appeared a few times as the acid casualty second hand record stall guy in “Men Behaving Badly”, but seems to live and work in Germany now. Most of their music is out on cd, full of light and shade and fresh as ever. But I’m biased.


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