This article is more than 8 years old

The forgotten bands of higher education

Another list of #HigherEdBands - just what everyone has been waiting for. Or most likely not.
This article is more than 8 years old

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

The #HigherEdBands time forgot

I recently produced a list of the really big name bands in higher education but what of the others, the also rans, the one-hit wonders, the forgotten foot soldiers of higher ed music-making? Here’s a list of a few of them together with some more recent stars setting the HE charts on fire.

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

Millennium Bug – Roehampton based soul quartet – briefly huge in 1999 but rapidly forgotten soon thereafter.

The Wonks – cerebral sub-Pet Shop Boys art school electronica.

Governing Body – pompous and overblown home county rockers.

Governing Articles – feeble acoustic duet formed following the acrimonious split of Governing Body.

HE Academy – one hit wonders from Woking.

Fresh Meat – tedious pseudo punk thrash kids from Coventry

Lucky Jim – ageing solo vocalist from Inverness. Not lucky. Actually called Brian

Learning Gain - not likely to be forgotten
Learning Gain – not likely to be forgotten

Learning Gain – progressive Paper Lace derivatives. Famous for strange outfits

Groves of Academe – beards and bongos were this group’s trademarks. Which explains the general lack of interest in their music by the record buying HE public.

Nice Work – doomed East Anglian prog rock outfit. Their only hit is now used only as incidental music on Antiques Roadshow.

Puppy Room – fey Glaswegian tinkly pop trio.

DeLHE Return – over-rated sharp-suited Spandau homage.

Library Fine – doomed Stoke shoe gazers.

Graphene – Manchester’s sharp and intelligent rapper notably mainly for the extraordinary cost of his live shows.

Freshers’ Week – Aggressive thrash metal combo who generally spend most of the year ‘resting’.

U21 – Big band Irish crowd pleasers with an ever-growing membership. Always on tour.

Big Data – Bognor’s answer to Kraftwerk. Apparently.

Pseudoscience – over-fussy new romantic types who rarely troubled the charts even in their heyday.

And here are some very new ones to watch:

Northern powerhouse – youthful Mancunian alt-rock outfit.

TEF – shambolic incomprehensible twelve piece mess.

White paper – the next big thing – everyone’s talking about them but they have yet to deliver.

Operating model – latest offshoot from the long-established HEFCE hit factory. Treading familiar and largely unpopular ground. Yet to persuade many of their merits.

Midlands Engine – ambitious but unproven Black Country rockers.

EU Referendum – these guys are going to be BIG. Soon.

Mrs Johnson’s Boys – this fractious duo seem destined for something.

Diamond Review – sharp edged rock from the granite city.

Cyber Security – this electronic trio have already managed to build a massive online following despite their wholly derivative sound.

Mindfulness – flighty and ethereal electronica with Cocteau Twins inspired lyrics. Either really clever or utterly pointless.

Boaty McBoatface – novelty act from nowhere who have suddenly raced to the top of the charts

Prevent Duty – seriously grim death metal.

GPA – earnest US quartet much discussed but yet to persuade many in the UK of their merits.

What other #HigherEdBands have you been listening to recently?

8 responses to “The forgotten bands of higher education

  1. Prevent! Prevent! Sloganeering Bragg/Manics imitators. Not to be confused with 80s Oi! bootboys Prevent Prevent Prevent or blaxplotation jazz fusionist Prevent Prevent Prevent Prevent

  2. The Quality Code: previously only available on vinyl, More sampled than a James Brown backbeat. Current ownership disputed

  3. REF Impact. West Country heavy metal band. Their debut album “Case Study” was given four stars by NME.

  4. Devo – progressive, loud and brash guitar band. Spare no expense for stage shows. Determined to forge ahead regardless

    EVEL – insular, introvert, play a combo of goth/trad folk in home country only. Will never cross a neighbouring border.

    LEPs Away – play a maximum of 39 gigs per year. Different sound at each one. Have between 6 and 30 band members. New investment by summer 16

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