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The Ultimate UK Decay Web Resource!

My late Father once told me a girl he worked with in Luton wanted to meet me. I was too scared to take up the offer. She was a punkette, and though I liked to think I was a rebellious punky type, I was scared of the real thing. The girl's name was Lorraine 'Lol' Turvey, who once played bass for legendary Luton band UK Decay.

Nicholas Lyndhurst, as Rodney Trotter, once famously sported a UK Decay T-shirt in an episode of 'Only Fools And Horses'. I thought I was seeing things at the time, but this pic, and this one, confirms it!

Guitarist Steve 'Abbo' Abbot is the current husband of former Catatonia singer Cerys Matthews. Part of the honeymoon involved the romantic setting of a Bath City-Luton Town game.

The Wikipedia article below tells most of what you need to know, about a band called one of the worst punk bands of all-time by NME slags Danny Baker and Charles Shaar Murray!

- Paul Rance/

It starts here: The Resistors

UK Decay was a Luton-based band, formed out of the ashes of another local band called The Resistors, who were, Steven Abbot (Abbo) guitar, Steve Harle on drums, Paul Wilson vocals, and Martin (Segovia) Smith bass.

Worse punk bands of all time! UK Decay

After P.Wilson left during the spring of 1979, they changed their name and released the ‘Split Single’ 7” with local band Pneumania, on their own Plastic Records label, under the new name, UK Decay. There were two tracks from each band, UK Decay contributing "UK Decay" and "Car Crash", and Pneumania, "Exhibition" and "Coming Attack". The 'Split Single' sold extremely well, mainly thanks to a damning review in the NME, whose Danny Baker and Charles Shar Murray described them as one of the worse punk bands of all time!

Enter Steve Spon

At the same time the band produced their own monthly fanzine, ‘The Suss’ and ran their own punk record and clothes shop, 'Matrix'. Abbo now on vocals as well as guitar, soon found this new role difficult, so staying on vocals he poached guitarist Steve Spon from Pneumania. It was an inspired move as the new line-up clicked instantly and the chemistry within the band came dramatically to life.

Black Cat: 1980

The next release for Plastic Records was the band's Black Cat EP, which came out in early 1980 and made the Indie chart for three weeks, getting to no 42. Alex Howe from Fresh Records, offered to license the first two singles off them and signed UK Decay to the label for several new 7"s and an album.

It was around this time that UK Decay played their first out-of-town gig, with Bauhaus at the Northampton Racecourse Pavilion. The first official release for Fresh was the September 1980's "For My Country" single, which became a huge Indie hit, spending eight months in the chart and reaching No. 13. The Single was promoted by a UK tour with raging political punk band, Dead Kennedys.

For Madmen Only: 1981

By 1981 two further singles, "Unexpected Guest" and "Sexual", were unleashed, "both effervescent waltzes of dark intent", the former actually achieving the band’s highest Indie chart placing of No. 4, and paving the way for UK Decay’s splendid debut album, For Madmen Only, released by Fresh Records in December of that year. The band had taken a year in recording, but had to delay recording to tour the US with the Dead Kennedys and to do several gigs in Europe. There were further frustrations with finding a permanent bass player.

After Segovia left, Lorraine 'Lol' Turvey from The Statics stood in for some UK dates and a European tour in late 1980, but after the US shows, the band invited Creetin (AKA Jason) back to the UK for their first headlining tour with The Dark and Play Dead supporting. Following that stint he returned home and Eddie 'Dutch' Branch (AKA 'Twiggy') from Northampton joined on bass, just in time to play on the album.

UK Decay Records: 1982

In early 1982, Fresh Records collapsed soon after the album's release, and the band were caught up in the ensuing management buy-out by what would become Jungle Records. With the help of John Loder and Southern Studios though, they managed to buy up the rights to their back catalogue and set up their own UK Decay Records. John Loder also introduced them to Penny Rimbaud from Crass, which resulted in the Rising From The Dead 12" coming out on Crass's Corpus Christi label in August 1982.

When it all goes well, we go home: The end of UK Decay 1982

However, despite encouraging sales, an ‘extremely fatigued’ UK Decay split up in late 1982, and a posthumous live album, A Night For Celebration, was released during the summer of 1983.

The Legacy

In the short time the band were around they had played over 450 gigs, all around the UK, with tours of Germany, Holland, Belgium and France as well as the West coast of the US and Canada. They also released six singles and one studio album and one Live album cassette. They also recorded two shows for the BBC’s John Peel.

The influence UK Decay had on the emerging ‘Post punk’ and ‘Goth’ movements is well documented and cannot be underestimated.


The Split Single - 1979 (Plastic Records Plas 001)
The Black 45 - 1980 (Plastic Records Plas 002)
For My Country - 1980 (Fresh Records 7” Fresh 12)
Unexpected Guest - 1981 (Fresh Records 7” Fresh 26)
Sexual - 1981 (Fresh Records 7” Fresh 33)
Rising from the Dread - 1982 (Corpus Christi Records Christ ITS 1)

For Madmen Only - 1981 (Fresh Records Fresh LP5)
A Night for Celebration - 1982 (UK Decay Records DK6)

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