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The Higsons
Origin United Kingdom
Genres Funk, punk
Years active 1980 - 1986
Labels Romans in Britain, 2 Tone, Upright, Waap, R4
Website The Higsons - artist profile
Former members
Charlie Higson - Lead vocals, harmonica, piano
Terry Edwards - Guitar, trumpet, saxophone, piano, vocals
Simon Charterton - Drums, vocals
Colin Williams - Bass guitar, vocals
Stuart McGeachin - Guitar, vocals
Dave Cummings - Guitar, vocals

The Higsons were an English funk-punk band popular in the United Kingdom in the 1980s.



Founded in 1980 at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, The Higsons' first recording was on the Norwich - A Fine City compilation album. The band signed to the 2 Tone Records label, along with bands such as The Specials, The Beat and Madness. The Higsons' first single, "I Don't Want to Live with Monkeys", was released in 1981.

The band's blend of high-energy funk and groove brought them some chart success: their most remembered track was "Conspiracy", released in 1982, with the refrain "Who stole my bongos?; Did you steal my bongos?". The band played their last gig in March 1986 after lead singer Charlie Higson called it a day. [1]


After The Band's Break-Up

Charlie Higson found fame as a comedy writer and actor in The Fast Show.

Terry Edwards fronted his own band and became a session musician.

Simon Charterton founded the Camden based country band The Aftershave, with singer-songwriter and composer Adam Wilson, and in 2005-7 wrote the libretto for their opera/musical The Reader's Wife.

Stuart McGeachin and Colin Williams got full time jobs.

Robyn Hitchcock paid tribute to the band with the song "Listening to the Higsons," which acknowledged their song "Got to Let This Heat Out" in the couplet, "I thought I heard them singing/Gotta let this hen out." Robyn used this mishearing as the title of his 1985 live album with the Egyptians.

Band Members

Charlie “Switch” Higson (vocals)
Terry Edwards (guitar / saxophone / trumpet)
Stuart McGeachin (guitar)
Simon Charterton (drums)
Colin Williams (bass)
David Cummings (guitar)

UK Singles

Title Date UK Chart UK Indie Chart[2] Label Format Cat # Other tracks
I Don't Want to Live With Monkeys July 1981 5 Romans in Britain 7" HIG2 Insect Love
Lost and Lonely November 1981 10 Waap 7" WAAP1 It Goes Waap
Got to Let This Heat Out November 1981 10 Waap 12" 12WAAP1 It Goes Waap (re-recorded)
Conspiracy March 1982 5 Waap 7" WAAP2 Touchdown
Tear the Whole Thing Down October 1982 2 Tone 7" CHSTT21 Ylang, Ylang
12" white label promo CHSTT1221 Ylang, Ylang
Run Me Down February 1983 2 Tone 7" CHSTT24 Put The Punk Back Into Funk Pts 1 & 2
12" CHSTT1224 Run Me Down (Long Version)
Run Me Down (instrumental)
Put The Punk Back Into Funk Pts 1 & 2
Push Out the Boat November 1983 4 Waap 7" WAAP4 Round and Round Pub Mix
12" 12WAAP4 Round and Round Pub Mix
Push Out the Boat (extended)
Music To Watch Girls By
Music To Watch Boys By
7": 1983
12": Sep 1984
2 Upright 7" UP 9 Music To Watch Girls By (7" only)
Lying On The Telephone
12" UPT 9 Music To Watch Boys By (unique 12" version)
Lying On The Telephone
Clanking My Bucket (live at The Lyceum, 3.7.84)
I Don’t Want To Live With Monkeys (live at The Lyceum, 3.7.84)
Take It 1985 R4 7" FOR2 I Walk The Land
12" 12FOR2 I Walk The Land
Take It (extended mix)
Take It (instrumental)
Lost And The Lonely December 1981 Vinyl Magazine #9 (released in Holland) Flexidisc V 9 Jigsaw Mentallama (by Virgin Prunes)


  • "The Curse of The Higsons" (October 1984)[3]


  • " The Higsons Live at the Jacquard Club, Norwich 11.2.82" (April 1982) [4].

Backs Records / Chaos Tapes (Cat No. live 008); limited edition of 4000

01. Insect Love
02. It Goes Waap
03. Surrender
04. Lost and Lonely
05. Got To Let This Heat Out
06. Where Have All The Club-A-Go-Go,s Went Went
07. A Dash To The Shops
08. Touchdown
09. Conspiracy
10. Crash
11. I Don't Want To Live With The Monkeys
12. My Love Is Bent At Both Ends
13. We Will Never Grow Old

Compilation albums

  • Attack of the Cannibal Zombie Businessmen (1987) - retrospective singles compilation - Waap Records
  • It's a Wonderful Life - compilation album of BBC Radio 1 sessions, on the Hux records label (1998)[5]

BBC Radio 1 In Concert

A One hour concert was recorded & broadcast from the Lyceum Theatre in London on 7th September 1983. The Higsons played the first half hour whilst other Norwich band The Farmer's Boys played the second half.

Tracks played:

Where Have All The Club-A-Go-Gos Went Went?
Born Blind
Music To Watch Boys By
Run Me own
Clanking My Bucket
Push Out The Boat


Jacquard Club, Live February 1982 (released by MEI) [6]
The Camden Palace, Live 2nd November 1984 (broadcast on London Weekend Television programme 'Live In London' 19.1.85). [7]
I Don't Want To Live With Monkeys Live [2006] (released by Cherry Red - reissue of Camden Palace gig).[8]


External links


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