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Swingers, The

After leaving Split Enz, guitarist/singer/songwriter Phil Judd left behind his previous arty-pretensions in favour of a straight-forward punky three piece, with Dwayne “Bones” Hillman (bass) and Buster Stiggs (drums).

Formed in 1978, The Swingers received complimentary reviews and a great deal of early exposure playing support slots for established Aussie bands through the late 70s. Stiggs left in 1980 and was replaced by Ian “Kiljoy” Gilroy.


1981’s Practical Jokers LP (released by Mushroom Records) became an instant hit in Australia with the infectious Counting The Beat reaching the #1 spot.

Re-sequenced and edited, the album saw an American release under the title Counting The Beat in 1982 on Backstreet Records.

The title track, It Ain’t What You Dance and the newly added single, One Good Reason (Gimme Love), all seemed to fit perfectly into the new wave and found a fair amount of exposure on the then-infant MTV.

A major role in the cult Australian film Starstruck  (1982) had the band poised for a major breakthrough. Judd instead opted to dissolve the band in favour of a solo career.

Hillman later found success as a member of Midnight Oil. Judd released one poorly received solo album and two more with ex-Split Enz bandmates as Schnell Fenster.

Original drummer Buster Stiggs (real name Mark Hough) passed away in January 2018 at the age of 63, following a long battle with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow.

Phil Judd
Vocals, guitar
Dwayne “Bones” Hillman
Buster Stiggs (Mark Hough)
Ian ‘Kiljoy’ Gilroy