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The Prisoners

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MOD band formed in 1982 in Chatham, England. They were a regular live fixture on the London “garage revival” mini-scene of the early 80´s and often toured with sparring partners THE MILKSHAKES who included Billy Childish on guitar. The Prisoners sound combined catchy, retro flavoured melodies, punk guitar riffs, a Steve Marriott-esque vocal style and a lead instrument of the then-unfashionable Hammond organ. The Prisoners never met with much commercial success during their original lifespan but have latterly been likened to Paul Weller and The Charlatans. Indeed Tim Burgess of the Charlatans has cited the Prisoners as a major influence.

After releasing several self-financed records and spending a year with “Big Beat Records”, in 1985 The Prisoners signed a new management deal with “Acid Jazz” that saw them move away from the London garageband tag and instead directly into the MOD revival mainstream. They also made a patchy final album, “In From The Cold”, for the ailing “Stiff Records” label. These deal were unsuccessful and the band split up acrimoniously in 1986. They have however reformed for live shows several times since then and managed to release a final one-off single in 1997.

Since splitting up the members of The Prisoners have featured in a wide range of bands. James Taylor and Allan Crockford formed mainstream jazz funk band The James Taylor Quartet in 1986, although Allan Crockford is no longer part of their line-up. The Solarflares, who released four albums before splitting up in 2004, were Graham Day and Allan Crockford basically reprising The Prisoners sound along with drummer Simon “Wolf” Howard and Mr Parsley on organ.

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