The Sharks were one of the bands that most helped shape the rockabilly revival during the 1980s in the U.K. Since its inception, the group went through several incarnations, a few breakups, and quite a few different members. Alan Wilson founded the Sharks, a late-'70s band formed to play '50s-style music. Only a few years later, the lineup had shifted to include Wilson and a few new members, drummer Paul "Hodge" Hodges and bass player Steve Whitehouse. The trio possessed fire and enthusiasm, enough to enable them to compile plenty of new songs to fill a full-length album before a month had gone by. It wasn't long before then-new label Nervous Records took notice and offered a contract, adding the Sharks to its neo-rockabilly lineup. The result was the band's debut album, Phantom Rockers, which remains perennially popular. The album went on to be released in CD and colored-vinyl formats.
Unfortunately, the band failed to last a year after its debut hit the scene, and not long after a journey to Holland, the group disbanded. A memento remains of the band's last trip in the form of First and Last Live, an album that took its tracks from a live radio broadcast. Wilson spent his time away from the band forging a career as a producer and engineer, as well as heading up his own label and studio, both named Western Star. Whitehouse went on to establish the band Frenzy.
The Sharks reunited in 1993, a decade after the band's first incarnation, thanks to a suggestion from Gary Day of the Frantic Flintstones, whose album Wilson was producing at the time. With the addition of Day as the band's bass player in place of an absent Whitehouse, the Sharks began working on their next album. Cherry Red Records inked a deal with the group and issued its second album, Recreational Killer, on Anagram. The recording reaffirmed the Sharks' popularity and soon bandmembers were touring Europe and playing numerous festivals across the continent. Day remained with the group through the release of the Bitch Attack EP and the Ruff Stuff CD, both on Vinyl Japan. Two years after the Sharks reunited, Whitehouse came back to play bass. Wilson and Hodges went on to play on Day's Gazmen project.
With its original lineup back in place, the group embarked on numerous tours. Bandmembers put together their next album, Colour My Flesh, for Anagram, and the Sir Psycho EP for Fury. By 1996, former Restless drummer Ben Cooper stepped in to take over for Hodges. Several years down the road, Carl Parry, former guitarist for Frenzy, took over for Cooper.
Wilson, while running his label and recording studio, as well as remaining with the Sharks, also works as the Reservoir Teds, a solo effort in which he plays all instruments. He also records with a trio called the Woodies, and appears on the band's debut, Rock 'N' Roll Is King, a 2002 release. ~ Linda Seida, Rovi
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