The Members Biography

One of the many UK bands inspired by punk, the Members came together in the summer of 1977, when former university student Nicky Tesco (Nicholas Lightowlers, Belfast, Northern Ireland) and French expatriate Jean-Marie Carroll, now a bank clerk in the UK, started working together. With Tesco on vocals and Carroll as guitarist and chief songwriter, they recruited Gary Baker on guitar, Adrian Lillywhite (brother of producer Steve Lillywhite) on drums, and a bass player. The bass player left after only a couple of months and was replaced by British Airways technician Chris Payne. They were based in Camberley, Surrey, England, from where all the members (except Carroll) originated. The band’s first recording - ‘Fear On The Streets’ - was for the Beggars Banquet punk compilation Streets. Despite this, it was Stiff Records that took the plunge and signed them. Their debut single, ‘Solitary Confinement’, was produced by Larry Wallis and earned them a contract with Virgin Records in November 1978, though by now Baker had departed and been replaced by Nigel Bennett. Their Virgin debut, ‘Sound Of The Suburbs’, was a hit in 1979, and was followed by the bloated but humorous reggae of ‘Offshore Banking Business’. The b-side revisited ‘Solitary Confinement’, a song that the Newtown Neurotics would later update in the form of ‘Living With Unemployment’. Their second album featured a guest appearance from Joe Jackson but it would be their last for Virgin, which they left in 1980. They were briefly signed to Island Records, but their third album came out on Albion Records, after which they disappeared. One other release of note is the Children Of 7’s ‘Solidarity’ on Stiff, which featured both Carroll and Payne among the writing credits. ‘Sound Of The Suburbs’ later featured as the title track to a nostalgic punk compilation that was advertised widely on UK television. Nicky Tesco went on to work as a journalist for UK magazine Music Week.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.