1977 – present (40 years)
There are (at least) 2 bands with this name - One from Brighton and one from Detroit.
1) The Piranhas were a ska-influenced punk band from Brighton.
Their live act was supposed to be one of the best around and they soon had a large following and were beginning to get some choice gigs out of town. Their songs were laced with a dry, sardonic wit, backed up with some catchy hooklines.
They were formed in 1977, and were originally part of the Brighton punk scene. They first came to prominence when DJ John Peel started playing their single "I Don't Want My Body" on his BBC Radio 1 programme, but achieved their biggest success with their cover version of the South African kwela song "Tom Hark". This had been an instrumental hit in 1958 for Elias & His Zig Zag Jive Flutes, and had already been covered in a ska style by Millie Small. With new lyrics written by the band's frontman "Boring" Bob Grover, it was a Top 10 hit in 1980. It was the first song to feature on BBC Television's pop music programme, Top of the Pops, when it returned in 1980 after being blacked out for several months by industrial action.
From Suzy Horne in the The Piranhas first fan club fanzine:
"Their first gig as the Piranhas was at the Vault supporting another local punk band Wrist Action. It was an anti-Jubilee gig, held on Jubilee Day 1977. Even the hand stamp said "Fuck the Jubilee". Their set consisted of about eight punk songs with titles such as Maniac, Tell the Truth, Hilary Bites, I Want Your Body and Johnny Mono, plus a couple of covers including a punk version of Let's Spend the Night Together. The only slower song was called Shut Up which became a strong favourite and highlight of the set. It even had it's own dance at one time. "
Original line-up (1977-81)
* Bob Grover - guitarist, lead vocals, trumpeter
* Dick Slexia (Richard Adland) - drummer
* Johnny Helmer - guitarist, vocals
* Reginald Frederick Hornsbury - bassist
* Zoot Alors - saxophonist
* "Tom Hark" / #6 UK
* "I Don't Want My Body"
* " Zambesi" / # 17 UK
* LP - The Piranhas / #69 UK
2) The Piranhas were a garage punk band from Detroit, MI, United States, formed in 1998, disbanded in 2004.
Members: Jamie Easter (vocals), Nai Sammon (guitar), Brian (bass), Pear (drums, saxophone), Ami (organ, glockenspiel), Ling-Ling (drums, 1998-2000)
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