The Shrubs – in session – John Peel – August 26, 1987 – BBC Radio 1 –
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The Shrubs tonight. In session (their second and last) for John Peel. Recorded and broadcast on August 26, 1987 at BBC Radio 1.
Formed in Watford in 1985, releasing three albums before splitting up in 1989. After being sacked from Stump for ‘being too serious’, Nick Hobbs formed his own band, initially as The Kevin Staples Band, but changing name to The Shrubs before first release Full Steam Into The Brainstorm, a 6-track 12″ EP in July 1986 on the Ron Johnson label. Bassist Phil Roberts left shortly afterwards to join Marc Riley in The Creepers, to be replaced by Steve Brockley, and subsequently by Mark Grebby, who had been the bass player for original Ron Johnson artistes Splat!
Shrubs contributed Bullfighters Bones to the NME’s famous C86 album.
A further 12″, Blackmailer followed towards the end of the year, with debut album Take Me Aside For A Midnight Harangue hitting the shops in July 1987. With the collapse of the Ron Johnson label and the indie distribution network The Cartel, several hundred copies of “Harangue” were incinerated, much to Hobbs’ annoyance. Shrubs signed with the Hertforshire-based Public Domain label for a studio/live 12″, Another Age, and second and final album Vessels Of The Heart, both in 1988, after which the band split. Hobbs went on to form Mecca, who toured the Soviet Union with Nitzer Ebb, and subsequently Infidel, along with current Pere Ubu guitarist Keith Moliné and Nico’s former drummer Graham Dowdall.
Tonight’s session is the second The Shrubs did for John Peel, and their last before calling it quits a year later. Like so many bands; starting off with lots of promise and support from fans and the press, something happens and things go askew. Unfortunately, too many bands suffer a similar fate, which is why making a career from Rock (or any music genre, for that matter) is not for the feint of heart or easily discouraged.