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The Woodentops


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London, United Kingdom (1983 – 1988, 2006 – present)

The Woodentops began 1983 with Rolo McGinty, Simon Mawby, Alice Thompson, and Paul Hookham. Known to busk and perform at South London art house warehouse type venues/parties . Rehearsing at Panni Bahrti’s (then Charrington) warehouse at Clapham Junction, where the band worked until 1988. This was a hotbed of experimental film and graphic design, Panni desgining the bands vinyl / cd artwork / film and stage show.

The band progressed to conventional venues. At this time the bands electronic influences such as Kraftwerk, Can and Suicide became blurred by the band acheiving its own sound, a hybrid of hi speed hypnotic acoustic rock. Early reviews saw them as a type of Violent Femmes/ Feelies group but increasingly Rolo, the main writer, would write new kinds of song in a desire to not repeat themselves.

This never changed with record companies and reviewers finding them harder to pigeonhole.
the Woodentops recorded the first single Plenty for Food records in 1984, followed by support tours for artists such as Julian Cope and Everything But the Girl. John Peel picked the group for several BBC sessions on his show and championed the group untill his death. Frank de Freitas and Benny Staples became the definative rhythm section.

Rough Trade records signed the group, leading to a canonade of highly respected singles “Move me”, “Well Well Well” and “Good Thing” . The album “Giant” saw them reaching the top 30 in the conventional charts, whereas all singles and albums attained number one spots in the independant charts.


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