Seventies punk rock legends The Shapes are back in action

A cult punk rock band that formed in Leamington in the 1970s have been enjoying success again as they celebrated an unconventional anniversary.

Wednesday, 1st June 2016, 12:22 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st June 2016, 1:24 pm
The Shapes.

The Shapes - pictured under the bridge through Jephson Gardens (picture by tour manager Julie Fenton) - who have always chosen to eshew ‘the norm’, have been celebrating their 39th anniversary by recording new material and going on tour around the UK.

The band, who now live in different parts of Britain and the US, re-grouped at Woodbine Studios in Leamington, where they first recorded with John Rivers in 1979 for their celebrated Part of the Furniture EP. Thirty-seven years on and they were back there to cut favourites We’re Not Very Famous and Don’t Play Tennis with John for a forthcoming single - the first release on their own label, Sofa Records, since 1980.

This recording session kicked off a mini tour of Britain, the We’re Not Very Famous Tour, with the strapline ‘39 Years of Anarchy and Baked Beans’ and culminating in a packed and high energy gig at the Zephyr Lounge with The Bonnevilles.

Four out of the five members - lyricist and vocalist Ben Browton, bassplayer Gareth Holder, guitarist Tim Jee and drummer Dave Gee - also visited Coventry Music Museum for a Heritage Lottery-funded Sounding Off question and answer session about their career with music historian and museum founder Pete Chambers. Guitarist Steve Richards missed the session as his amp required fixing for Zephyr Lounge performance.

The band talked about their career, the support John Peel gave them, being one of the very few non-Irish bands signed to Terri Hooley’s legendary Good Vibrations label and how they launched the career of The Specials, whose first gig was supporting The Shapes in October 1977.

To see footage of the talk, including acoustic renditions of the songs Business Calls and (I Saw) Batman (In The Launderette), visit

To find out more about the history of the The Shapes, visit