The Pop Group

Decades Active: 2000s


This seminal UK punk act operated from Bristol, Avon, in the late 70s, combining abstracted funk with chaos and expressionist vocals courtesy of Mark Stewart. The topics under consideration - starvation, war, exploitation - were similar to those expounded by anarcho-punks Crass, but the Pop Group’s music was much more sophisticated. Their records proved both inspirational and intolerable, some of the most extreme music to have been pressed onto vinyl. Their masterpiece was 1980’s For How Much Longer Must We Tolerate Mass Murder. Unable to maintain such a pitch of intensity, the band splintered into different projects. Bass player Simon Underwood left to form Pigbag, a welcome relief from the drabness punk conformity had created, with its riot of bright shirts, ethnic rhythms and James Brown references. Guitarist and saxophonist Gareth Sager went on to form the irrepressible Rip Rig And Panic. Only singer Mark Stewart kept to his bleak viewpoint, forming...

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