THE DANGEROUS BROTHERS
Formed in 1976,
Bridgwater's punk pioneers THE DANGEROUS BROTHERS filled the towns Arts Centre to over
capacity with gigs every couple of months featuring their theatrical comedic antics and
highly danceable new wave music . Each gig featuring other local bands such as the Skillet
Lickers, the D.I.M Band, the Pompeii Stiffs and numerous others.
The nucleus of the Dangerous Brothers was the song writing partnership of bass player
Brian Smedley (Smed Smedlo) and guitarist David Newton (Jim Rude) , the on stage costume
changing theatricals of Rod Jones (Rocco), the synthesiser agility of Neal Heckford (Cozmo
D.G Glisandoz) and the rock'n'roll drumming of Kevin Freeman (Nervo).
Although the line-up changed several times the band brought out 2 tape albums 'Internal
Organs' (1978) and 'Going Shopping' (1980) plus a single 'False Nose/County Councillor'
(1980)-all on the Brother's own 'Sheep Worrying' label and recording a track on the Circus
records compilation album 'The Circus Comes to Town'.
The Dangerous Brothers debut gig was at the Huish Episcopi school, Langport 19.11.76. The
band had various line-ups prior to this and had been billed for the gig under the name
'The Cardboard Box'. The Brothers played the College rag day disco on 17 December at the
Park road centre, totally inebriated-guitarist Nick Hill sliced his numb fingertips off
and splattered his new white Les Paul blood red without noticing it whilst drummer Nervo
nearly asphyxiated by pounding away for an hour in a Gorilla mask. At the Hamp Community
centre on may 20 1977 the gig was broken up by the Police after complaints from Elderly
Residents and onJune 29 punk rock hit Bridgwater town hall when the Brothers smashed their
instruments up on stage- Nervo almost killing Smedlo by dropping the entire drum kit on
A regular feature at the Arts Centre gigs was Jim Rude setting fire to his arm and
extinguishing it through lightning fast strumming whilst the most controversial incident
involved Rocco chopping off a member of the audiences legs and eating them during the song
'cannibal rock'. In fact the victim was a plant (Tony) who had no legs and had agreed to
fill his stumps with giblet from the Poultry Packers where he worked. Classic DB's songs
of the day included 'Wish I was George Formby' ,'I didn't know she was under 16' and 'Ello
Ello Ello' all penned by Rude/Smedlo and which lyrically reflected the dodgy world of
Counter-Culture Bridgwater in the late 70's.
The band had a huge and (mainly) dedicated following and members supported the Rock
against Racism Movement including attending the major Brixton event that year. In 1978 the
Brothers were temporarily banned from the Arts Centre after holding a Jelly party there -
with the inevitable result that the day after the ensuing jelly fight the solidified jelly
peeled all the paint off the walls to which it had been stuck.
In 78 the brothers left Bridgwater in a bid for success-but chose to move to Leeds. And
then only half of them moved. By 1979 the band had reformed in Bridgwater but Rude had
stayed in Leeds leaving the songwriting entirely to Smedlo producing such classics as
'Swedish language yea yea yea', 'I'm a Bonehead' and 'Cuban Holiday'´.
During this time the Brothers are convinced that at a gig in Manchester UMIST, new wave
alternative comedians Rik Mayall and Ade Edmonson nicked their name for their future stage
act. In 1980 the Dangerous Brothers recorded their self financed single 'False Nose' but
the result led to a split with Rocco leaving the band and first Tonto (Tonto) and then
Dave Butland (Lokjaw) being brought in as replacement. The split deflated the brothers
hopes as it coincided with the launch of their Sheep Worrying Label and a major tour.
By 1981 the Brothers had been signed up to small time label 'Circus Records' along with
Black Roots and The Alarm who had been impressed by the Smedlo song 'Secret Seven' , but
the label collapsed shortly followed by the Dangerous Brothers themselves whose demise
testified to being big fish in a small pond for far too long.
Sedgemoor Contemporary Music Group, Sheep Worrying,
The Dangerous Brothers, Club Whoopee, The Sedgemorons,
Red Smed and the Hot Trot Smash the System Boogie Band, The
Spanners, The Visitors, The
Funbunnies, Thermo Lovelies, Dexter
Brinks, Bikeshed, Copyright
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