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Red Lorry Yellow Lorry

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Leeds, England (1981 – 1991, 2004 – present)

Red Lorry Yellow Lorry (commonly referred to simply as “The Lorries”) is a post-punk band formed by guitarist/songwriter Chris Reed and vocalist Mark Sweeney, along with bassist Steve Smith and drummer Mick Brown (who would later join The Mission). Sweeney left the band in late 1981 and Reed permanently took over as vocalist, with Martin Fagan joining as a second guitarist. The group’s sound, featuring a numbing guitar drone, powerfully throbbing drums, and Reed’s cavernous vocal tones, caused the Lorries (as their fans came to call them) to be quickly lumped into the then-developing gothic rock scene by pop journalists, although the band themselves preferred to cite Killing Joke and Wire as influences.
The use of a drum machine seems to have been a determining feature of bands coming out of Leeds, England (the Sisters of Mercy and The Three Johns are other examples).

In 1982, independent record label Red Rhino signed the band based on the strength of some of the group’s demos. Their first single “Beating My Head” made a strong appearance on the influential New Musical Express (NME) independent record chart. Fagan and Smith soon departed the band, to be replaced by Dave Wolfenden and Paul Southern respectively. In 1983 and 1984, several more singles would be released by the band (including “He’s Read” and “Monkeys On Juice”). In 1985, the band’s debut album, Talk About The Weather, was released and reached #1 on the NME indie rock chart.

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