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Yet more forgotten bands of higher education

Our HE music archivists have done some more digging around and come up with yet more of those forgotten bands of higher education, including Henry Nu-man, Tier 4, The Degree Apprentices, and Freedom of Speech.
This article is more than 7 years old

Paul Greatrix is Registrar at The University of Nottingham, author and creator of Registrarism and a Contributing Editor of Wonkhe.

Some time ago we had a list of the really big name bands in higher education. But then there was a much more interesting reporting on the overlooked, the also rans, the one-hit wonders and the forgotten no-hopers higher ed music-making.

Well, the good news is that our HE music archivists have done some more digging around and come up with yet more of those forgotten bands of higher education.

So here they are, a few more of the forgotten names of higher education rock & roll:

  • Henry Nu-man – early Tubeway Army solo splinter project dabbling in electro-philosophical and theological ramblings
  • Porterhouse Blues Explosion – hardworking mockney pub rockers
  • Credit Transfer – a cappella, jazz/pop fusion serial annoyers. Only ever released compilation albums
  • Parity of Esteem – as noted by esteemed music critic David Morris this Welsh indie bluegrass trio have long demanded equal billing with the stars
  • Tier 4 – tight international electro-swing sounds
  • Hillman and the Hepi Cats – cerebral 80s flavoured art-rock with Mancunian stylings
  • New DelHE – reformed and punchier gathering of former members of DLHE Return. Infused with futurist optimism and widely tipped as the new sound of Cheltenham (drummer is one to watch)
  • Bell Review – these really are the new kids on the block – been through a lot of line up changes recently as they shrunk from a nine piece to something more compact
  • New Model Uni – stroppy thrash punk loudness
  • Industrial Strategy – all new 12 member glam rock revivalists; 70s throwback
  • Hard Brexit – self-mutilating grindcore quartet; difficult listening
  • Campus Carry – killer metal thrash
  • The Esquire Bedells – arty, pretentious, and overblown chamber pop
  • Dropout rate – largely unreliable psycho-surf rockers
  • The Sabbs – youthful alternative college rock exuberance personified
  • The Redbricks – stodgy AOR tedium
  • Deferred entry – lo-fi shambles. Rarely arrive on time
  • The Finalists – laid back trip hop funsters
  • Polaris House – intelligent Swindon-based power pop septet
  • HERB – ethereal and chaotic gothic pop stylings
  • The Degree Apprentices – northern shoe gazers, growing in popularity lately, though lots of work still to do to live up to hype
  • Steely Don – brainy jazz rock quintet
  • The Freshers – comedic youthful East coast rappers
  • Trailblazer – grim death metal
  • Gap year – dull fey indie pop duo
  • Graduate School – ageing intellectual acid rock
  • Ede & Ravenscroft – ambient electronica from this bizarrely dressed duo
  • Apprenticeship Levy – remarkably unpopular yacht rock combo, not to be confused with The Degree Apprentices (see above)
  • Freedom of Speech – avant-garde new wave agitprop from this scruffy trio
  • Rectify the Anomaly – tedious 70s prog-rock noodlers, perpetually behind the times
  • Essay Mills – repetitive recycled pop tunes from this surprisingly familiar and well-funded outfit
  • Therapy Horses – novelty lullabies from this romantic stress-relieving duo; palls quickly
  • The Buff Dogs – aggressive but numerate speed-core combo
  • Lackademia – left-leaning college rock; unproven
  • Level Playing Field – hugely influential and often-cited easy-listening groovesters. Still waiting for that difficult first album release.
  • Wonk Unit* – “arguably the future of punk rock”

*unlike all the others, this is actually a real band

What other #HigherEdBands have you been listening to recently?

3 responses to “Yet more forgotten bands of higher education

  1. I’ve been joyfully rediscovering the timeless folk-rock integrity of “The Lords”, and pondering whether rumours of the imminent demise of baggy dance-pop revivalists “T.E.F”. are indeed true. In future I look forward to the imminent launch of Barber-shop quartet The Office For Students, who have risen from the ashes of The Funding Council’s sophisto-pop.

  2. Where is that much maligned 80s steam punk throwback of ‘TEF will eat itself ‘; the cutting edge rap act that is NWA (nerds with apprenticeships) or a band close to my heart the Metrics Sheet plagiarists?

  3. A late entry to the list is the turbulent and feisty jazz outfit Alternative Arrangements

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