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Charged GBH, commonly known as GBH, are an English street punk band which was formed in 1978 by vocalist Colin Abrahall, guitarist Colin "Jock" Blyth, bassist Sean McCarthy (replaced by Ross Lomas by the time they had signed to Clay records) and Drummer Andy "Wilf" Williams. GBH were early pioneers of English street punk, often nicknamed "UK82", along with Discharge, Broken Bones, The Exploited and The Varukers. GBH have gone on to influence several punk rock musicians.
The name GBH was inspired by then-bassist Sean McCarthy's trial for grievous bodily harm. Though the core line up of Colin, Ross and Jock has stayed the same throughout their history the drum stool has been occupied by a number of incumbents following Wilf's departure after the Midnight Madness and Beyond album and Oh No It's GBH again 12" ep. 1986 saw the arrival of German drummer Kai Reder who played on three albums and an EP (No Need To Panic, A Fridge Too Far and From Here To Reality, as well as the "Wot A Bargain" 12"), Kai was then replaced by American, Joe "Fish" Montanero for one album (Church of The Truly Warped), this was the band's last release for the Rough Justice label. The drum stool was then occupied from around 1994 by former Bomb Disneyland/Bomb Everything drummer Scott Preece, who has remained to this day and played on all releases since.
Charged GBH embarked on several English and mainland US tours during the early 1980s, including several gigs at the 100 Club. 1982 saw the release of GBH's first LP, City Baby Attacked By Rats which reached number 17 in the UK charts as well as Number 2 in the respected UK Indie charts where the bands singles had also taken up residence, leading to a memorable appearance on legendary UK TV programme "The Tube" doing "Give Me Fire" (UK Indie chart no 2). Lyrically, the album dealt with criticism of British and European culture, violence, morbidity (especially in reference to the song "Passenger On The Menu", which describes in graphic detail the experiences of the passengers on the Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571), atheism, nihilism and humour. Musically, the album was loud and fast, with few songs exceeding three minutes. The success of the first album was repeated with second LP "City Baby's Revenge" in 1983 and saw more extensive touring in America and Europe and higher profile UK shows including the Carlisle Punk festival which they co headlined with fellow UK82 stalwarts The Exploited, and also featured the likes of Toy Dolls, Chelsea and The Destructors. In 1984 the band dropped the "Charged" from their name and became just GBH (grievous bodily harm) . Throughout their recording history it has become a tradition to include a cover version on many of the Albums. Boston Babies - Slaughter and The Dogs (City Baby Attacked By Rats), I Feel Alright - The Damned / The Stooges (City Baby's Revenge), Avenues and Alleyways - Tony Christie (No Need To Panic), Needle In A Haystack - The Velvelettes (A Fridge Too Far), Destroy - The Vibrators (From Here To Reality), I Need Energy - Zero Boys (Church of The Truly Warped).
They and many of their UK82 peers such as The Exploited, Picture Frame Seduction, Discharge, and The Varukers have all enjoyed resounding success among street punks in the USA. Although many of their contemporaries have evolved towards other styles over the years, GBH have remained fairly faithful to their original UK82 sound in subsequent releases. However, the band have experimented to some degree with a more speed metal-inflected sound, notably with their 1992 release Church of the Truly Warped, although they have since returned to a more purist punk sound. The band is still active and touring and maintain a strong following both in England and the rest of Europe, as well as in the United States and Japan. The band is set to release their twelfth studio album, "Momentum", on Hellcat Records on November 17, 2017.
Current band members
Colin Abrahall- vocals 1978–present
Colin "Jock" Blyth- guitar 1978–present
Ross Lomas- bass 1978–present
Scott Preece- drums 1994–present
Former band members
Sean McCarthy- bass 1978
Andrew "Wilf" Williams- drums 1978-1986
Kai Reder-drums 1986-1992
Joseph "Fish" Montanaro drums 1992-1994