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Swell Maps

Adrian Nicholas Godfrey was born on 19 July 1956. He and his younger brother Kevin began playing in a variety of bedroom bands from 1972.

Kevin renamed himself Epic Soundtracks and Adrian became Nikki Sudden.


Adding John “Golden” Cockrill, Richard Earl (who became “Biggles Books”), Stephen Bird (“Jowe Head”) and David Barrington (aka “Phones Sportsman”) they became Swell Maps, one of the most diverse bands of the immediate post-punk era.

Their debut single, Read About Seymour, became a cult favourite but the group steadfastly refused to be categorised – although their eclectic, low-fidelity sound and aesthetic values tied them into the punk rock movement.

They released two albums on Rough Trade – A Trip to Marineville (1979) and Jane From Occupied Europe (1980) – before splitting in 1980.

Despite the pop elements of singles Dresden Style, Real Shocks and Let’s Build A Car, the albums offered a bewildering array of sounds ranging from garage band simplicity to new age-styled piano instrumentals.

When Swell Maps broke up in 1980, Epic Soundtracks played briefly with Australian band Crime & The City Solution before devoting himself to a not unsuccessful solo career.

Sudden also forged a solo career as well as releasing records with Dave Kusworth as The Jacobites.

Epic Soundtracks died in his sleep on 6 November 1997.  Nikki Sudden died on 26 March 2006 of a heart attack while on tour in New York. He was 49.

swellmapsKevin ‘Epic Soundtracks’ Godfrey
Drums, piano, bass, violin, vocals
Adrian ‘Nikki Sudden’ Godfrey
Vocals, guitar, piano, harmonica
Richard ‘Biggles Books’ Earl
Organ, guitar, xylophone, vocals
Stephen ‘Jowe Head’ Bird
Bass, guitar, vocals
David ‘Phones Sportsman’ Barrington
Bass, vocals
John ‘Golden’ Cockrill
Bass, vocals