The WORST were the epitome of the Punk Rock era in all that it stood for - basically a "Were Not Gonna Take This Any More" of the music establishment that controlled what we listened to and 'what was good for us'. Countless promises of record contracts were told to "shove it" and rather than, what we regarded as at the time, "selling out to the establishment" like so many of our contemporaries with similar ideals......

The above statement was taken with permission from the bands own website


Musical illiterates on purpose, the Worst, who did everything in their power to live up to their name, were managed by Steve Shy, barman at Manchester punk gossip central, the Ranch bar, and editor of Shy Talk fanzine. They could not play, definitively, and in no way saw this as a drawback, evidenced by their drummer’s use of a cheapo Chad Valley kit, while live they always dressed in head to toe black leather and chains, especially Odgie. Nevertheless, Jon Savage gave them a full-page feature in Sounds and called them "inspirational". "We didn’t really start with the intention of getting anywhere, did we?" they told Savage. "It’s only during the last few months that we’ve all seemed to be aiming for something – none of us had been so sure as to what it was. I think we’ve found out now." Or as Odgie summed it up: "Punk was like cries for help. You’re much better on stage working out your aggression than, say, you are smashing phone-boxes and that’s the sort of urgency the music should have. That’s how it started: then you get into where you want to go with it and what you’re doing..."

Odgie, who originated from Preston and was a former accounting student, also appeared on the cover of the Sex Pistols’ Lesser Free Trade Hall bootleg, and was featured in a ‘new wave’ piece in the Sunday People, titled King Of The Punks. He also appeared in a studio debate, alongside John Peel, Pete Shelley and Pastor John Cooper, who ‘banned’ punk in Caerphilly, about the merits of the nascent movement in a Granada TV Brass Tacks special. Julie G of the Shock remembered the Worst thus: "Odgie and Alan were from Preston. They used to go down to London to the 100 Club and saw The Pistols early on. I got to know Odgie and Alan around Autumn 1976 when they would go to The Lodestar in Ribchester. Saturday was Roxy and Bowie night but they played Anarchy and New Rose demos - which probably belonged to Odgie and Allan. I used to go every other Saturday cos I had a mate who lived in Blackburn and I would stay over. The Lodestar never gets a mention when it comes to early punk venues but I think that place and Manchester's Ranch were the earliest venues outside London to air punk."

As Mick Middles wrote in From Joy Division to New Order, "Unlike Buzzcocks or the Fall or Sad Café even, the Worst actually enjoyed languishing in a total lack of ambition. They were, to an extent, ‘the real thing’. Their fans included John Cooper Clarke, the Buzzcocks, whom they supported at Birmingham’s Barbarella’s and later on their tour of Ireland, and Siouxsie Sue, and she’s notoriously picky. Pete Hook of Warsaw/Joy Division was another advocate. "Two of them, they couldn’t play. One had the drum kit and one had the guitar and they just used to rant and rave. Oh, it was great. And he’d smash his kit up at the end. The second gig we did, the Worst played with us. Great days." John McGeogh, too, thought they were "great".

Alan, the guitarist, also contributed to Pete Shelley’s side project, the Tiller Boys. They were at the very least entertaining. One night at a disco at Chorlton’s Oaks, they stopped mid-performance and proceeded to pin bass player Dave to the floor and give him a spiky haircut. Paul Morley instantly dubbed them stars, describing them later as "a couple of mechanics from Rochdale" and "the great lost punk group". But they were the sort of stars not destined to make it to vinyl or escape their catchment. Savage would later review them playing at the Electric Circus’s last stand. "They look as though they’ve stepped right out of the industrial waste, totally uncompromising, blinking in the spotlight. No ‘image’. They play not as thought their life depends on it, but because it does. There’s a hunger there. A three piece; the lead singer moves little, sings high – much is lost in the sound, and when his guitar breaks, they call it a day, with only one song, ‘Fast Breeder’, staying in the head. They’re haunting, seeming to epitomise the evening’s movie perfectly." Sadly, they were not included on the attendant concert recording, and nothing else has emerged in the interim. That’s about all we know, apart from the fact that Woody once stayed at Ian Brown’s house and managed to burn the curtains down after he fell asleep smoking a cigarette.


Alex Ogg

From Alex Ogg's forthcoming book "No More Heroes"




"The Worst"
Live at "Stretford Civic Centre"
on 21st September 1977
"The Fall" & "John Cooper Clarke"





The above photo of Odgie appears on the "Lesser Free Trade Hall" bootleg LP by the "Sex Pistols".

The above photo of Ia


The band original line up was Odgie, Alan & Woody. Woody was involved
in the initial stages up to and including the final gig at the
Electric Circus, then I took over till band finished. The first gig was
Leeds Poly with Gang of Four, so we had no bass player and
never found the need to replace it, which probably contributed
to our unique sound….


"Robin Ukracik"
March 2006


 Thanks goes to "Marshal Peters" and above all "Robin Utracik" for helping us put together this page.


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