The Dentists formed in the Medway (Kent) town of Chatham in 1983.
Their first single, Strawberries are Growing in My Garden (and It’s Wintertime), was released on a tiny independent label called Spruck Records in 1985. A neo-freakbeat effort that sounded like it had been recorded in 1967, the song remained the band’s best-known song throughout their career.
The album Some People Are On The Pitch They Think It’s All Over It Is Now included tracks titled Tony Bastable vs John Noakes, One of Our Psychedelic Beakers is Missing, and the standout, I Had An Excellent Dream.
The group also released a six-song EP entitled You and Your Bloody Oranges.
A reissue of Strawberries in 1986 received radio play from John Peel and Andy Kershaw and was named “runner-up Single of the Week” by Smash Hits magazine. It reached the Top 40 in the UK Indie Chart.
The following year, the band recorded a radio session for Janice Long, and shortly afterwards, their Writhing On The Shagpile EP also made the indie charts.
The Dentists were signed by the Belgian label Antler Records in 1987 and released a compilation album – Beer Bottle and Bannister Symphonies – and the 12″ single, The Fun Has Arrived.
The band’s second album, Heads and How to Read Them, was released on Antler in 1991.
After enjoying an underground following in the US, they signed to the American label Homestead Records, which released the compilation Dressed (1992) and the album Powdered Lobster Fiasco (1993).
In 1992, The Dentists released three seven-inch singles – See No Evil, Hear No Evil, and Speak No Evil – simultaneously on three different record labels. Each single consisted of two songs by the band and a poem by John Hegley, read by the poet.
Powdered Lobster Fiasco finally attracted the attention of a major label, and the band signed to Eastwest Records in 1993. Their first album for Eastwest, Behind the Door I Keep the Universe (1994), reached #8 on the College Radio charts and was followed by a six-week tour of the US.
A second album, Deep Six, was recorded in 1995 but failed to sell and the band parted company with Eastwest. Guitarist Bob Collins left the band shortly afterwards, and their final appearance was at the 1995 CMJ Music Marathon in New York City.
In 2010, a new Dentists compilation of previously unreleased demos and rarities If All The Flies Were One Fly, was released, and the band played two reunion gigs.
Drummer Alun Jones died in September 2013.