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Soft Boys, The

The Soft Boys was formed in Cambridge (England) during 1976 by vocalist/guitarist Robyn Hitchcock and fused pop hooks with British folk-rock and snotty punk aggression.

Braced by the songs of Hitchcock, The Soft Boys were a twisted milkshake of Syd Barrett, Captain Beefheart, John Lennon and Bob Dylan, spiked with ringing guitars, tricky harmonies, and drolly ominous humour.

Their first recording, an EP on Raw Records, came out in late 1977. They were among the first signings to Radar Records the following year, but after releasing a single they scrapped a finished LP to start anew on an album to be released independently.

A Can Of Bees, complex and frighteningly psychedelic, appeared on their own Two Crabs label.

softboys3The line-up went through more than one change, but from 1980 until their split in 1981, also included Kimberley Rew (guitar), Matthew Seligman (bass) and Morris Windsor aka Otis Fagg (drums).

Their less bizarre and more tuneful 1980 album Underwater Moonlight (on Armageddon Records) hit the ground running with I Wanna Destroy You, a pissed-off anthem featuring swirling guitars and bright vocal harmonies.

Kingdom of Love showcased Hitchcock’s surreal wit as he compared infatuation with insect eggs hatching under his skin.

It would be the last proper Soft Boys album. Hitchcock moved on to a prolific solo career and to perform with his new backing band, The Egyptians. Kimberley Rew went on to form Katrina and the Waves.

A 2001 reissue of Underwater Moonlight from Matador featured nine bonus tracks and a second disc packed with outtakes and rarities.

Robyn Hitchcock
Vocals, guitar, bass
Rob Lamb
Alan Davies
Andy Metcalfe
Otis Fagg (Morris Windsor)
Kimberley Rew
Guitar, harmonica
Matthew Seligman
Bass, keyboards