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Doctor and the Medics are a London based psychedelic rock band, famous in the 1980s. They are best known for their UK number one hit "Spirit in the Sky". The band currently performs, with a different line-up, as a tribute act to various artists.

Contents

Career

The Doctor (Clive Jackson , 7 July 1961, Knotty Ash, Liverpool), a former London-based DJ, formed the group with guitarist Steve McGuire, drummer Vom (aka Steve Ritchie, not to be confused with Crazyhead drummer Rob "Vom" Morris), and bassist Gareth Thomas and female dancers and singers The Anadin Brothers in 1981.[1] The group adopted a look inspired by both 1960s psychedelia and kabuki make-up similar to that of Kiss.

Their first single was "The Druids are Here" which was released on Whaam Records in 1982.[2]

They released no further records until 1985, although a four track EP recorded live at Alice In Wonderland, a Soho nightclub where The Doctor was house DJ, was available direct from the band.

The band's unique female backing singers were known collectively as The Anadin Brothers.[2] Originally there were 3 Anadin Brothers but this was soon whittled down to Wendi West and Colette Appleby. Their unique performances were extremely well synchronised and featured highly characteristic moves, these were influenced by the fact that the duo had previously competed together as synchronised swimmers.

In 1985 they signed to IRS Records and released "Happy but Twisted" a five track 12" EP including a cover of Hawkwind's "Silver Machine". This reached number 2 on the indie charts.[3] This was followed by "The Miracle of the Age", produced by Andy Partridge of XTC.

Around this time the band performed a concert in a television studio in Limehouse, London which was recorded for television broadcast, although it was not shown at the time. At this concert the line up was augmented by Roman Jugg of The Damned on keyboards and second guitar.

They scored an international hit in 1986 with their next single, a cover of Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in the Sky". The single reached number one in the UK among others. They fared less well with subsequent singles; "Burn" and "Waterloo" (the latter of which was a cover of the ABBA hit, with Roy Wood on saxophone, backing vocals and in the video). "Burn" reached No 29 in the UK Singles Chart and "Waterloo", No 45.[2]

In addition to their musical career, the group were closely associated with the Alice in Wonderland nightclub, and Planet Alice, a fashion shop on Portobello Road, London that was an offshoot of the club. The club, which was based at the Gossips in Soho won City Limit's "Night5club of the year award" in 1985.

The club ran the "Mystery trips" taking unsuspecting clubbers to gigs and venues across the country on coach trips. One such venue was Lowestoft Pier in 1986 featuring performances by: Zodiac Mindwarp: Another Green World: Daisy Chainsaw and The Cult. These trips are now widely regarded, as quoted by Rave magazine, to be the precursor of the beginning of the rave scene in the UK. Which mirrored the use of secret locations, out of town venues and famous DJ's.

The band released their final studio album Instant Heaven, in 1996 on their own 'Madman' record label.[1]

In the early 2000s the band's current line-up appeared on retro-themed British TV shows such as ITV1's Hit Me Baby One More Time and a Top of the Pops Christmas special celebrating 50 years of the UK Singles Chart.

In 2003, Jackson left Britain to live in Mexico, although frequently returned to Britain and in June 2006 appeared on Channel 4's Bring Back One Hit Wonders with a new line-up. Around this time they released an EP called "Timewarped". In 2008, Jackson moved back to the UK to begin work on a new studio album.

Personnel

1981 Line up

  • The Doctor (vocals),
  • Steve McGuire (guitar),
  • Richard Searle(bass),
  • Andrew McLachlan (drums)

1986 line-up

  • The Doctor (vocals),
  • Steve McGuire (guitar),
  • Richard Searle(bass),
  • Steve "Vom" Ritchie (drums),
  • Wendi Anadin (vocals),
  • Colette Anadin (vocals).
  • Andy Higgins (chief Badger)
  • Richard Searle left in 1990 shortly after Vom Ritchie left. Gareth Thomas replaced Richard Searle in 1990. Searle went on to form Acid Jazz band Corduroy with former members of Sire Records act Boys Wonder.
  • Since leaving the Medics, drummer Ritchie has played with Crazyhead, Last of the Teenage Idols, Stiv Bators, B-Bang Cider, The Boys, Wet Dog and now plays with Die Toten Hosen.

Current line-up

  • The Doctor (vocals)
  • Adrian Hill (drums)
  • James Hartley(guitar)
  • John Randle (bass)
  • Melissa Weekes (backing vocals)
  • Collette Anadin (backing vocals)

Discography

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Albums

Singles/EPs

  • "The Druids Are Here" (1982) Whaam
  • Happy But Twisted EP (1985) Illegal (UK Indie #2)
  • "The Miracle of the Age" (1985) IRS
  • "Spirit in the Sky" (1986) IRS (UK #1)
  • "Burn" (1986) IRS (UK #29)
  • "Waterloo" (1986) IRS (UK #45)
  • "Two Pieces of Cloth Carefully Stitched Together EP (1987) Illegal (UK Indie #34)
  • "More" (1987) IRS
  • "Drive, He Said" (1988) IRS
  • Timewarped (6-track covers Ep) (2006)

References

  1. ^ a b Sutton, Michael. "Doctor & The Medics Biography". allmusic.com. Macrovision Corporation. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&searchlink=DOCTOR. Retrieved 26 March 2008.  
  2. ^ a b c d Strong, Martin C. (1999). The Great Alternative & Indie Discography. Canongate. ISBN 0-86241-913-1.  
  3. ^ Lazell, Barry (1997). Indie Hits 1980-1999. Cherry Red Books. ISBN 0-9517206-9-4.  

External links


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