This Coventry (UK) based band enjoyed a minor league role in the new wave but owed more to power pop and astute songwriting than the punk movement.
Singer and guitarist Neil O’Connor (brother of Hazel O’Connor) met school kids David Freeman (guitar/vocals) and Joe Hughes (bass/vocals) in the mid-70s and formed the hippyish Midnight Circus, eventually recruiting Pete King on drums.
A name change to The Flys coincided with punk’s first tremors, and after a demo in April 1977 brought an apathetic response from the usual channels, the band issued the energetic EP Bunch of Five on their own Zama label. EMI (who had rejected Midnight Circus) quickly snapped them up, releasing one of the EP tracks – the belligerent singalong Love and a Molotov Cocktail – as a single.
Their debut LP, Waikiki Beach Refugees, was released in October 1978 to an enthusiastic response.
1979 saw a flurry of singles, including Beverley, Name Dropping, and We Are The Lucky Ones, but internal quarrels led to the recruitment of riotous new drummer Graham Deakin.
Their second LP, Own, was released in October 1979. Rawer than their debut LP, it did not chart in the UK.
The band moved to Parlophone Records and released the EP, Four from the Square followed by the single What Will Mother Say? in May 1980. The band split up shortly after.
O’Connor joined his sister, Hazel, for two years and two albums before becoming a musical arranger, engineer and producer.
Freeman issued a cover of The Supremes‘ Stop! In The Name of Love, took a degree, published his poetry, sang on Alison Moyet’s Raindancing and later formed a new wave pop duo called The Lover Speaks with Joe Hughes.
Drummer Pete King joined After The Fire but sadly died of testicular cancer in 1987, aged 26.