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The Smirks


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The Smirks was a British rock band that garnered some success in the 1970s. They played their first concerts in Manchester in late 1977, but by January 1978 they were spotted at the Stiff Records talent show. The band quickly picked up a management deal, and recorded a session for the John Peel programme in April 1978.

By then, they had signed up to Beserkley Records, and before long they released their first single, “OK - UK” (often known by other names such as “O.K. U.K.” and the like). Whether a U. S. West Coast record label appreciated a single with the words “California holiday gets on my wick” would later become apparent. The boys continued an extensive touring schedule round the country, playing gigs with famous names like Devo and John Otway.

In the summer of 1978, they played at two festivals in the Netherlands, their only concerts outside England. Simon and the band campaigned for the continuation of live music against the onslaught of disco and the closure of many pubs where live music was played. Although there was serious intent to the campaign, the name “Smirks against Travolta” was also a gentle parody of “Rock against Racism”, which the group also supported. The publicity stunt at the London premiere of “Grease” resulted in the arrest of their guitarist, but the case against him collapsed in court.

After the release of their second single “Rosemary”, they went into the studio to record their first album, but it was never released as their relationship with their record company, itself struggling, deteriorated.

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  • mwimps61

    Ahh - The Smirks. A great live band that got dealt a bum deal in the 70's and never recovered. Of course the name may not of helped either - I remember going into a record shop and asking for "Rosemary" by The Smirks and he said "The Smurfs?"

    12 May 2011 Reply
  • ringbark

    Ladies and gentlemen of The Smirks fandom, please vote for the proposed Smirks picture so that the band can continue to be promoted at - thank you!

    20 Nov 2006 Reply

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