Cardiacs

From Academic Kids

Cardiacs are a British band formed in 1977. Combining the excitement and energy of punk rock with the intricacies and technical cleverness of early British progressive rock, a combination sometimes referred to as pronk, their sound is unique and varied.

Contents

History so far

Cardiacs were formed by Tim Smith in suburban Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, sometime around 1977. Since then the band line-up has remained fluid, undergoing numerous line-up changes, with Tim's brother Jim Smith being the only other surviving original member, and many previous members appearing now and again for live performances, or helping out backstage (and vice vera).

Starting off as The Filth or Philip Pilf and the Filth, the band underwent a series of name changes, becoming Cardiac Arrest, then The Obvious Identity, and Alphabet before settling on Cardiacs by the end of 1980. Early releases followed the punk DIY ethic, and included limited runs of the cassette albums The Obvious Identity, Toy World, and The Seaside.

The band's line-up was whittled down throughout 1983 from eight to six (Tim, Jim, Sarah, Bill, Dom, and Tim) the line-up that would remain for the rest of the 1980s. Tim and Sarah got married in July 1983.

In 1984, Cardiacs supported Marillion at the personal request of Marillion’s lead singer Fish. While the tour gave Cardiacs some overdue publicity, Marillion's fanbase took an aversion to them resulting in the band being bottled on stage.

In March 1987 the British tabloid newspaper the Sunday Sport ran a story 'exposing' the supposedly incestuous relationship between Tim and Sarah, mistaking the couple for brother and sister,"In their bizarre world of music.. anything goes - even INCEST." Much of the misunderstanding was perpetuated by Tim himself.

The release of Is This The Life in 1988 saw brief chart success and the attention of a wider audience, as the single reached the Indie top ten in the UK. By the end of 1990, the band had slimmed down to a four piece, using a backing tape for live shows. In 1995 much of the Cardiacs back catalogue was re-released on CD.

Quotations

"Everything we play is written, right down to the last drumbeat. It's chaos, but it's ordered chaos - everything is really. Look out of the window."
- Tim Smith, interviewed by Mat Smith in Melody Maker.
"There's nothing wrong with any kind of band in the world. Whatever they play. Musical prejudice is the worst thing in the world."
- Tim Smith, interviewed in Organ No.1 (a fanzine) 1986.

Influences

Influences the band have cited include Gong, early Genesis, and Frank Zappa.

Present line-up

  • Tim Smith - lead vocals, guitar, keyboards.
  • Jim Smith - bass, backing vocals.
  • Kavus Torabi - guitar, backing vocals.
  • Bob Leith - drums, backing vocals.

Members past and present A-Z by surname

  • Ralph Cade (1979)
  • Mark Cawthra aka Little Bobby Shattocks
  • William (Bill) Drake (left 1990)
  • Christian Hayes aka Bic (1989-1992)
  • Marguerite Johnson (left 1983)
  • Dominic Luckman (1983-1990)
  • Colvin Mayers aka Max Cat
  • Jon Poole (1992-2004)
  • Bob Leith (1994-present)
  • Michael Pugh aka Peter Boker
  • Tim Quy (1980-1990)
  • Graham Simmonds (left 1983)
  • Tim Smith aka Philip Pilf(1977-present)
  • Jim Smith aka Patty Pilf (1977-present)
  • Sarah Smith (ne Cutts) (1980-1990)
  • Peter Tagg (1979)
  • Kavus Torabi (2003-present)

Musical relations A-Z by band name

  • Ad Nauseum (Jon Poole, and Bob Leith – prior to joining Cardiacs)
  • Catherine in a Cupboard (Bill Drake, Bob Leith, Jim Smith)
  • Dark Star (Christian Hayes - after leaving Cardiacs, and Levitation)
  • The Lake of Puppies (Bill Drake - after leaving Cardiacs)
  • Levitation (Christian Hayes - after leaving Cardiacs)
  • Mice (Dominic Luckman and Christian Hayes - after leaving Cardiacs)
  • Mikrokosmos (Christian Hayes solo project)
  • Mr and Mrs Smith and Mr Drake (Tim Smith, Sarah Smith, and Bill Drake)
  • Panixphere (Tim Smith, Jon Poole, and Christian Hayes)
  • Ring (Christian Hayes - prior to joining Cardiacs)
  • The Sea Nymphs (Tim, Sarah, Bill)
  • Shrubbies (Dominic Luckman - after leaving Cardiacs)
  • Tim Smith's OceanLandWorld (Tim Smith's solo project)
  • The Sound (Mick Pugh and Colvin Myers - after leaving Cardiacs)
  • Spratley's Japs (Tim)
  • [The Trudy (http://void.moleseyjugglers.co.uk/tlmb/TheTrudy/TrudyRe-Entry.html)] (Peter Tagg and Ralph Cade - after leaving Cardiacs)
  • The Wildhearts (Jon Poole - after leaving Cardiacs)

Discography

Singles and EPs

  • A Bus for a Bus on the Bus 7" (1979) TOR 002
  • Seaside Treats 12" EP (1985) ALPH 002
  • There's Too Many Irons In The Fire 12" EP (1987) ALPH 006
  • Is This The Life 7" and 12" (1988) ALPH 008
  • Susannah's Still Alive 7" and 12" (1988) ALPH 009
  • Baby Heart Dirt 7" and 12" (1989) ALPH 011
  • Day Is Gone 12" and CD (1991) ALPH 015
  • Manhoo (1995) ALPH 025
  • Bellyeye (1995) ORGAN011
  • Odd Even ALPH 026
  • Signs (1999) ALPH 028

Albums

  • The Obvious Identity Cassette (1980)
  • Toy World Cassette (1981)
  • Archive Cardiacs Cassette (1983) ALPH 000
  • The Seaside Cassette (1983) ALPH 001
  • Big Ship Mini Album (1987) ALPH 004
  • Rude Bootleg (1987) recorded live at the Reading Festival 1986 ALPH 005
  • A Little Man and a House and the Whole World Window (1988) ALPH 007
  • Cardiacs Live recorded live at The Paradiso, Amsterdam (1988) ALPH 010
  • On Land and in the Sea (1989) ALPH 012
  • The Seaside reissue ALPH 013
  • Songs for Ships and Irons (1991) ALPH 014
  • Heaven Born and Ever Bright (1992)ALPH 017
  • All that Glitters is a Mares Nest ALPH 018
  • Sampler (1995) ALPH 019
  • Sing to God (1995) ALP 022, 023, 024 This LP was released in two parts.
  • Guns (1999) ALPH 027
  • Greatest Hits ALPH 029

Videos

  • Surbiton Assembly Rooms 1985
  • Seaside Treats (1985)
  • Maresnest, live at Salisbury Arts Centre 30 June 1990.

Other and related releases

  • Mr and Mrs Smith and Mr Drake Cassette ALPH 003
  • The Sea Nymphs Cassette (1992)
  • Tim Smith's OceanLandWorld (1995) ALPH 020
  • Cardiacs and Affectionate Friends (2001) ORG228

References

No official Cardiacs histories or biographies have been published. The ORGAN (http://www.organart.demon.co.uk/) fanzine produced a Cardiacs anthology of interviews and reviews in 1993.

External links

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