The Lime Spiders formed in the Liverpool area of Western Sydney (Australia) around a core of vocalist Mick Blood and guitarist Darryl Mather.
From a one-off show in 1979 – which included rugby league great Eric Grothe on guitar – the band finally emerged in 1981 with a six-piece line-up of Blood, Mathers, bassist Dave Guest, guitarist Richard Jakimyszyn, drummer Jeff Cleary and backing vocalist Bill Gibson, later to shine with The Eastern Dark.
They progressed from practising in a local scout hall to gigs in the competitive inner-city Sydney venues and climaxed 1981 with a New Years Eve show on a bill headed by The Sunnyboys, The Hoodoo Gurus and The Scientists.
Their powerful original compositions – along with energetic covers of songs by The Standells, Mitch Ryder and The Chocolate Watch Band – were already winning them fans, but the band broke up in early 1982.
Mathers’ urge to record a single saw the band re-group late in 82, when they beat 64 other bands in a band competition at the Southern Cross Hotel (later the Strawberry Hill Hotel) to win a recording contract with local independent label Green Records, with former Radio Birdman vocalist Rob Younger producing.
The departure of Cleary and Guest also found former Radio Birdman guitarist Warwick Gilbert sitting in on bass for the sessions, along with guests Steve Rawles on drums and Bruce Tatham on keyboards.
The resulting 25th Hour record was released in June 1983 in the unique format of a double 7″ set, including 25th Hour, That’s How It Will Be, Can’t Wait Long and 1-2-5.
The record showcased a raw, energetic blend of power pop, psychedelia and 60s garage punk, and helped establish The Lime Spiders as a force to be reckoned with.
Bassist Tony Bambach and drummer Richard Lawson then joined Blood and Jakimyszyn, and it was this line-up that recorded the extremely successful Slave Girl single for Citadel in 1984.
By late 1984, guitarist Gerard Corben was playing alongside Jakimyszyn, the Slave Girl single had been released overseas and the Spiders had successfully toured Melbourne. But they reverted to a four-piece in 1985 when Jakimyszyn left to pursue other interests.
The band released the Slave Girl mini-album and – With Rob Younger and Alan Thorne back behind the desk – their toughest record yet in Out Of Control.
Stripped of any perceivable ’60s influence, the band came on with equal parts brutality, velocity and unimpaired raw power, while on the b-side they performed deft rock & roll surgery on the Wimple Witch’s 1966 freakbeat classic Save My Soul.
By now Mick Blood was the last original Spider standing, but this line-up – featuring Gerard Corben on guitar, Tony Bambach on bass and Richard Lawson on drums – would become the band’s most prolific, cutting the first two of three albums for Virgin and touring the States, where in 1987 they would play to idols like Joey Ramone and Iggy Pop, and jam with Dead Boys guitarist Jimmy Zero.
The Lime Spiders ultimately fought on until the early ’90s – including the Weirdo Libido single, which appeared on the soundtrack to an Australian film called Young Einstein (1988) – by which time they’d suffered more line-up fractures and were a spent force.
A brief reunion in ’99 however, found them firing on all cylinders.