Gus and Wispa have recently reformed The Drones with new members Martin Smith [drums] and Glenn Jones [guitar], to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Punk. The new band will kick off with a gig at the Grand in Clitheroe on 21st May 2016, with many more already booked and more awaiting confirmation. There are also plans for a new album.
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The band started out in the Manchester area in 1974 as a Glam Rock outfit called Rockslide, releasing a lone single 'Jump Bump Boogaloo' / 'Roller Coaster' in October 1975, before reinvented themselves as a punk rock band the following year. The Drones then relocated to London and became one of the pioneering punk bands that performed in the first few months of the now-legendary Roxy Club. They supported The Vibrators in January 1977, headlined in February, and supported X-Ray Spex and Chelsea in March. Later that year they supported The Stranglers on a full UK tour, and appeared on two influential early punk compilation albums 'Streets' and 'Short Circuit: Live at the Electric Circus'.
The band's debut EP, 'Temptations Of A White Collar Worker' (1977), was described by one reviewer as "classic dole-queue punk." In October 1977, The Drones’ second single, 'Just Wanna Be Myself' / 'Bone Idol', was released, and on 6th December they recorded a session at Maida Vale 4 studio for John Peel. Later that month, they released their debut album on Valer Records, 'Further Temptations', produced by Simon Humphrey, and now regarded by many as a punk classic.
Unfortunately, after this the band lost momentum, and the third single 'Be My Baby' / 'Lift Off The Bans' was not released because Valer went bust, and only 200 white label 12" test pressings were made - no picture sleeve. In 1996 some counterfeits emerged, alegedly from the band, as well as a 7" version (see discography). The originals have 'Lets hear it for the Dronettes' scratched on the run-out grooves. A fouth single 'Can't See' / 'Fooled Today' was released on the Fabulous Label in 1980 with John Ellis on guitar and Riki Legair on bass, but this bombed and The Drones would eventually call it a day towards the end of 1982.
It would then be another fourteen years before The Drones would perform live, when they reformed to play the 1996 Holidays In The Sun Festival celebrating 20 years of Punk Rock. This would be followed by sell-out gigs in Japan and the USA, before the band one again called it a day in 1999.