THE STRAPS
Jim set up his own label, Donut Records, and, in 1980, the first Straps single 'Just
Can't Take Anymore'/'New Age' was released. The Straps supported the Damned on
the Black Album Tour (at a cost of 2,000) around this time, which helped the single
rise to number 49 in the Indie Chart. Their second single, 'Brixton'/'No Liquor', was
released in 1982, again on Donut Records, and rose to number 43 in the Indie
Chart. After the release of this single, Jim unfortunately left the band, leaving the
remaining members without a drummer or a label. They pushed on; however, and, in
1983 with the help of Pete Davies (UK Subs) on drums, they recorded their first
album 'The Straps' on Cyclops Records. The album was recorded live in 6 hours, on
a low budget, and with no overdubs. Other musicians who appeared on the album
were Rat Scabies who played drums on the re-recording of 'No Liquor' and Captain
Scarlet aka Dave Lloyd (UK Subs) and Andi Sex Gang who provided backing vocals.
A third single 'Omega Man' was recorded but never released and, although they
were playing to large crowds at venues such as the 100 Club and the Marquee, the
Straps broke up in 1983.
The Straps formed in 1977 in Battersea with an original line up of Howard Jackson
(vocals), guitarists Steve MacIntosh and Dave Reeves, Green (bass), and Brad Day
(drums). However, Howard was soon to be replaced by John (Jock) Grant who had
moved to London from Johnstone (just outside Paisley) and was staying in a squat
in Battersea.

Their first gig was with the UK Subs, Tickets, and Security Risk at The Streatham
Park Tavern Pub on September 28, 1978. Shortly after this gig, Green, the bass
player, died of a heroin overdose and was replaced by Andrew Hayward (aka Andi
Sexgang). It was in December, 1978 that the Straps were on the bill to support
Adam and the Ants at the Rainbow; however, the gig was cancelled during the
soundcheck as the promoter had not paid for the PA. The others bands on the bill
were the Slits, Mothers Pride, and the Raped.
Further lineup changes occurred in 1979/80 when Steve MacIntosh was replaced by
Andy Forbes on guitar, Stan Stammers (from Epileptics) was brought in on bass,
and the position of drummer was filled by Cliff and then Luke Rendle (from Crisis). It
was around this time that the Straps played their legendary gigs in the window of
Boy on the Kings Road. Around 1980, Stan and Luke left to join the Pack (who
became Theatre Of Hate) with Kirk Brandon and Andy left for Scotland to join the
Wall. The Canadian-born John and Simon Werner joined on bass and guitar
respectively and, another Canadian, Jim Walker, joined on drums. Jim had played
in Public Image Ltd. on the first single and album, and all three new members had
played in the Pack. This was the definitive and most successful line-up of the
Straps.
John worked briefly with Jah Wobble and Rat Scabies under the name Bartok and
recorded a 12" single called 'Insanity' and, in 1993, John and Dave reformed the band
for a successful appearance at the Fuck Reading Festival at the Brixton Academy.
Little was heard from the Straps after this; however, in 2005, the Straps 'Punk
Collection' CD was released on Captain Oi!, which included all of their official
releases. The Straps reformed in 2005 with a lineup of original members John (vocals)
and Dave (guitar) and three new members Stuart Phillips (guitar), Mark Hobbs (bass),
and Lloyd Dudley (drums). They played at the Wasted Festival in Wolverhampton in
2005 and again at Wasted in Blackpool, 2006. They continue to gig successfully and
are currently working on a new album.
Visit the Straps website for more information and have a look at John's recollections
of the early punk scene in Paisley.
Jim, Simon, Dave, John Grant, John Werner (1979)
Rat Scabies, Dave, John on the tour bus (1980)
John, 1977
Brad
The Straps
Official site
Johnny Grant on MySpace
Dave Reeves on MySpace