Ghosts of dead indie bands

2013 has started with a wave of bands splitting up, most notably Shrag announcing their imminent demise live on 6Music, and Standard Fare confirming their long-touted hiatus is to be permanent (there have been some other odds and ends of news, though mercifully not for bands I’m notably fond of).

It’s sad, but it’s also how these things go. I’ve known plenty of my favourite bands split up… so it has got me to thinking about a few other notable splits. Inevitably, it added up to an 8tracks mix.

I set a few rules:

  • They had to be bands I was into at the time, and saw live (so not McLusky, more fool me)
  • I had to have heard about their split at (or reasonably close to) when it happened / was announced (so not Angelica, who I only heard about ages after the event)
  • Long periods of radio silence with no actual announcement don’t count (so not The Hot Puppies)
  • Britpop-era bands*, or bands who split long before I got into them like the Smiths or the Pixies also don’t count.

Here’s the tracklisting I came up with.

  1. The Broken Family Band – It’s All Over
  2. Shrag – When We Go Courting
  3. Standard Fare – At The Lake
  4. The Bluetones – Heard You Were Dead
  5. Grandaddy – The Crystal Lake
  6. Rosita – Santa Poca’s Dream
  7. Alfie – Your Own Religio
  8. Immaculate Machine – No Such Thing as the Future
  9. Sleater-Kinney – Entertain
  10. Colonel Bastard – Phone Box
  11. Yokoko – Sally Doesn’t Care
  12. The Loves – XS and Os
  13. Help Stamp Out Loneliness – Record shop
  14. The Long Blondes – Once and Never Again
  15. Kenickie – Psychic Defence

Bonus points to anyone who can spot the one major exception to my own rules!

* … and I realise the Bluetones and Kenickie are both Britpop-era, but I hadn’t even really clocked them as exceptions – the Bluetones because they split so recently, and Kenickie because they were the first band I saw live, in the last week of their career, and therefore the first band I saw live to split up – so it seems more recent than ‘Britpop’ to me!



  1. Good point about the radio silence btw, bands just drifting off without giving you the catharsis of a farewell gig is the worst.

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