The band formed in 1981 in Middleton, six miles north of Manchester. Before this, Mark had been in the Clichés while Reg and Dave were in Years. Dave was in a school band called Sen. The three started without a drummer and got the attention of the legendary Radio 1 DJ John Peel. Their first single, "In Shreds" on CBS, made number 42 on John Peel's Festive Fifty in 1982. They originally signed with CBS, but they disagreed with how they should sound. CBS dropped them after the one single, despite encouraging sales. They soon signed with Statik. However, Statik was distributed by Virgin, so they couldn't qualify for the independent charts and were thus overlooked by the music press.
The debut album, "Script of the Bridge", was recorded in Rochdale during a six-week period. The band was really pissed when they found out about the reduced version which was released by MCA in the US. They then became unhappy with Statik and tried to get away from them, but were bound by contractual obligations. After their second album, "What Does Anything Mean? Basically", they signed with Geffen. While signed to Geffen, the band released what was to be their last album together for fifteen years, "Strange Times" as the band literally fell apart, acrimoniously, with grief after Tony's death.
The dawning of a new millenium saw an ending to the 'hostilities' as the band buried hatchets, kissed and made friends once more, culminating in a reforming of the group, and a new 'unplugged' album entitled 'Strip'. A triumphant, sold out, 5 day residency at their old stomping ground 'The Witchwood' in Ashton confirmed their old reputation for being one of the tightest live outfits ever.