No Pictures Of Us / Plaything

Catalogue Number - ST 005

Label - Stortbeat Records

Year Of Release - 1979

Quantity Pressed - 1000?




Mopey Grope / Negative Positive

Catalogue Number - TAP 1 (T001X / T001Y)

Label - Tap Records

Year Of Release - 1979

Quantity Pressed - 1000?


Kevin Jones - Vocals

Shane Roe - Guitar

Chris Wood - Bass

Steve Horton - Keyboards

Mickey Howard - Drums


The Sods formed in spirit at The Clash, Jam, Buzzcocks and Subway Sect gig at the Rainbow on May 9th 1977. Kevin Jones, Chris Wood, Shane Roe and Jimmy Lowe were there, and wore plastic shades They sat in the George Robey and told everyone that they were “The Rage” from Harlow. Inside The Rainbow, they were photographed by Julie Birchill (or someone). And their manager Lorcan Divine (Div) told everyone in the Robey about their new single Dead Hippies to be released on Phoney records. These were fibs! Shane played guitar a bit. Jimmy played drums even less. Kevin had sung and rehearsed with a band called The Incinerators who had only lasted two weeks or less and never gigged. Kevin’s first public appearance was with a one off un-named group that Shane got together at the Harlow Playhouse. The song was Waiting For The Man. Chris couldn’t play. Anyway, Div got two gigs, one at the London School of Economics, and the other at Goldsmith’s College, supporting 'Stripjack'. Having got the gigs they now had to get a band together. Steve Horton was a mate of Shane’s, on the Student Union at Harlow Tech. He could play the piano, so they asked him to join, despite misgivings about his blonde hair and blue eyes. He went and bought an electric piano. This meant business! They had to get a drummer. Mickey Howard was recommended as a musical jack-of-all-trades‚ who could play the drums. This was true, and although he was a hippie he agreed to play the gigs. Meanwhile, Chris was learning to play the bass (by numbers). So The Rage‚ had their first rehearsal on June 6th 1977. During that week Chris left, because his fingers began to ache and he developed bass players elbow! And Mickey left because Chris didn’t turn up for rehearsals‚ amongst other things. It was only a few well-timed non-verbals‚ from Kevin that saved the day. They played the gigs and decided to carry on. Div stopped managing them because Shane kept interfering. Sean Clarke and Henry Pietkewitz offered to manage, after seeing them at Harlow’s Tiffany’s. They were not totally convinced until the band broke the house record at The Railway Hotel in Bishops Stortford twice in succession. Further gigs followed, and included the Rock against Racism show supported by The Oscars and Pete The Meat and the Boys‚ both bands making up members of the as yet formed Gangsters, and a return booking at the London School of Economics.

The band changed their name to The Sods‚ because another band had formed, calling themselves The Rage and were doing regular gigs at The Vortex. The last gig as The Rage was at Jesus College, Cambridge on 22nd November 1977. The Sods‚ played their first gig on 10th December 1977, at The Welcome Inn, Horseheath, South Cambridgeshire. It ended prematurely in a punch up with the local bikers, seeing the end of Chris’s Hofner bass as he broke it over someone’s head (western style). Early 1978 saw The Sods‚ supporting Wire, Siouxsie and the Banshees and blowing the Banshees off stage!

In March or April 1978 Mickey decided to leave and do his his own thing. There was no hard feelings, and his last gig with The Sods was at The Triad, Bishops Stortford, where The Jolt found out The Sods were an impossibly hard act to follow. Also on the bill were Stortfords own The Darlex, including future Epileptic Kev Hunter.

Mickey would return to the Studio with The Sods to play drums on both singles. During the second half of 1978 things were picking up in Harlow, new bands were forming, this gave The Sods additional support acts like The Newtown Neurotics, The Rabbits, The Gangsters. Stortbeat had begun. The local scene was buzzing with new bands and plenty of gigs (see the Stortbeat collective CD where this story is told in full).

With a new drummer Ralph Collins a sixteen year old school leaver who had been recommended to the band, they played Harlow’s Pop in the Park on 3rd June 1978 as support to Eddie and the Hotrods along with Mates Pete the Meat and The Boys and at some point played support slots for 'The Lurkers' and the reggae band 'Aswad'.

Chris left to form 'The Arabs' with Allan Meadows and Peter Capaldi From The Gangsters and was replaced for a short while by Declan Barron (Dec) From 'The Rabbits', would play bass on the first single No Pictures, released on Stortbeat Records in 1979. No Pictures got some airplay from John Peel .

Dec returned to 'The Rabbits' and in came 'Fatal Microbe' Scott Barker, Scott played bass on the second single Mopey Grope released on Tap Records later in 1979 and even penned the b-side Negative/Positive. Ralph had left the band by this time and Scott brought in his friend Adrian Atkins (Adie) on drums This would be the final line-up for The Sods…

So the Sods ended, Kevin went on to front the Ole Rene’s, Shane started his outfit Mirror Co, Mickey went on the road with the Bobby Henry Band, then Chelsea, and is still playing and recording today, whilst Chris became an Arab and Steve went on to run a half-marathon…

Gordon Wilkins
  May 2006.


Kevin Jones

Steve Horton

Chris Wood

Shane Roe



Page Two




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