Blow Monkeys


The Blow Monkeys formed in 1981, releasing a single Live Today, Love Tomorrow on the tiny Parasol label the following year and signing to RCA and releasing a debut album Limping For A Generation (produced by Jam/Style Council knob-twiddler Pete Wilson) the year after that. It wasn’t until 1986, however, that the band achieved the commercial success that matched their nascent critical acclaim, the song Digging Your Scene (off the band’s second album, Animal Magic) becoming a massive worldwide hit. A year later the band released It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way which hit the No. 5 slot in the UK before the follow up album She Was Only A Grocer’s Daughter (produced by Michael Baker) left controversy in its wake: if some remained unaware that erstwhile UK PM Margaret Thatcher was the daughter of a grocer then the subsequent duet with Chicago soul/funk legend Curtis Mayfield Celebrate (The Day After You) left no doubt where the Blow Monkeys stood on the subject. Naturally, the BBC banned the single and the band then nailed their colours to the mast by joining the Red Wedge tour.

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The Blow Monkeys will be releasing their new single Hangin’ On To The Hurt on F.O.D. (distributed by Nova via Universal). Taken from the band’s current album Staring At The Sea, Hangin’ On To The Hurt is a song about letting go of anger. On it, Dr Robert has never sounded better, his voice at times as gentle as it is menacing and the song has a brutal reality to it that’s reminiscent of Oasis in their prime.

In the 1980s The Blow Monkeys produced two worldwide hits (Digging Your Scene and It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way), several must-have albums and a reputation as the only popular act to be both political and memorably tuneful at the same juncture. Lead protagonist Dr Robert soon found himself adorning Smash Hits magazine covers whilst being on nodding terms with most, if not all, of the Top Of The Pops doormen who peopled a typical Blow Monkeys day. Of course, it didn’t have to be this way (see what we did there?) and now, more than twenty years later, Dr Robert finds himself growing olives and grapes in rural Spain. Lady Serendipity now also sees him writing the kind of charmingly alarming pop songs that make you wish you’d had the wherewithal to think them up yourself: witness Staring At The Sea, the new “concept” album (focusing on the uniquely melancholic relationship the British have with the sea) and witness too Hangin’ On To The Hurt a song that leaps out of your stereo aching to be embraced.

Praise for the reformed Blow Monkeys:

"Dr Robert is a better songwriter than before and the band have matured into an exceptional unit. An addictive fusion of pop-soul and blue-eyed funk." Sunday Times

“an impressively strong collection of songs" - Sunday Express ***

"stylish and classy" - The Mail On Sunday ****

“Robert continues to sound like he dresses only in velvet and smokes cigarillos” Q MAGAZINE

“Flashes of brilliance” MOJO

"All the grit of a real band that instinctively knows how to play together" WORD MAGAZINE

Soulful and Scott Walker-ish” UNCUT MAGAZINE

The Blow Monkeys remain Robert Howard (vocals, guitar), Neville Henry (saxophone), Mick Anker (bass) and Tony Kiley (drums)

Hangin’ On To The Hurt will be released on FOD (Nova via Universal).


Sunday Times

MOJO Album Review


Mail On Sunday