Emerging alongside the first wave of UK punk bands in the late 70s, the Boys were always more than three-chord wonders. Originally known as the London Boys, they were formed in summer 1976 by factory worker and guitarist ‘Honest’ John Plain (b. 12 April 1952, Leeds, Yorkshire, England) and Matt Dangerfield (guitar). Dangerfield had played two rehearsal gigs with the infamous punk ensemble London SS, alongside Norwegian keyboard player Casino Steel (b. Stein Groven, February 1952, Trondheim, Norway). Steel, formerly of the Hollywood Brats, was also drafted into the line-up alongside Andrew Matheson (vocals), Geir Waade (drums) and Wayne Manor (bass). The latter three members were quickly replaced by two of Plain’s co-workers at Gaz T-Shirts, Duncan ‘Kid’ Reid (bass/vocals) and Jack Black (drums). With Plain and Duncan ‘Kid’ Reid singing, and Steel/Dangerfield writing, the newly christened Boys made their name by touring with John Cale in April 1977. Signed to NEMS, ‘I Don’t Care’ was their first single and although it did not fare well in the UK the Boys became successful on the continent, particularly in Holland and Steel’s native Norway. Further recordings followed for NEMS including the first of several Christmas singles recorded under the pseudonym the Yobs. In 1979, they signed with Safari where Dangerfield also acted as a producer for Toyah early in her career. Steel left following the release of To Hell With The Boys, and one final album limped out in 1981 before the other members also decided to call it a day. Plain teamed up with Pete Stride of the Lurkers as the New Guitars In Town for a short period before forming Dirty Strangers and later the Crybabys. Steel, meanwhile, had formed a successful partnership with singer Gary Holton. Plain and Dangerfield reunited from time to time to record new Yobs material. The Boys work was championed in the following decade by a number of new bands, most notably Germany’s Die Toten Hosen, leading to the re-release of their albums and the production of a number of compilation sets. A new Boys album, 1996’s unplugged Power Cut, featured Die Toten Hosen’s lead singer Campino on vocals. Plain, Reid, Dangerfield and Steel reunited in 1999 to play two dates in Japan, where they were joined by drummer Steve ‘Vom’ Ritchie. Further live dates followed with original drummer Jack Black even making a guest appearance at one concert.Portions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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