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Hitchin’s Bleach Boys set for special homecoming show

PUBLISHED: 11:58 28 January 2018

The Bleach Boys on stage during their Simon Kelly tribute gig at Club 85 in Hitchin two years ago. Picture: Peter Alan Gill

The Bleach Boys on stage during their Simon Kelly tribute gig at Club 85 in Hitchin two years ago. Picture: Peter Alan Gill

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Hitchin’s original punks are to play the whole of their first CD in order during a homecoming gig in the town this month.

The Bleach Boys' debut album The Four Cyclists of the Apocalypse. Picture: The Bleach BoysThe Bleach Boys' debut album The Four Cyclists of the Apocalypse. Picture: The Bleach Boys

The Bleach Boys, started by four former Hitchin Boys’ School pupils back in 1977, are still going strong after four decades – and will be playing at Club 85 on Saturday, February 17.

The venue is special for the band as it is where they played their tribute gig for founding singer Simon Kelly two years ago – and this gig will see them play through their 1995 CD The Four Cyclists of the Apocalypse.

The group’s bass player, known to fans as Phnuff, told the Comet they were still supporting charity Bloodwise in Simon’s memory.

“Cancer still kills and until we defeat it, we continue to help raise funds against it,” he said.

Bleach Boys founding member Simon Kelly.Bleach Boys founding member Simon Kelly.

“This type of gig is not our idea but has been inspired by a number of bands who have selected an album and made it the centre piece of their live shows.

“These bands include the Stooges, who toured their Funhouse album, and the Dickies – who last year played their Incredible Shrinking Dickies album in London, followed by their Dawn of the Dickies album the next night.

“For us it represents a bit of a challenge as it contains a number of songs that we haven’t played in years – however, Club 85 is a special place for us.”

After they finish the album, the band will play some of their other songs until the end of the show.

The Bleach Boys on stage during their Simon Kelly tribute gig at Club 85 in Hitchin two years ago. Picture: Peter Alan GillThe Bleach Boys on stage during their Simon Kelly tribute gig at Club 85 in Hitchin two years ago. Picture: Peter Alan Gill

The Bleach Boys, who claim to have been the first punk band in North Herts, have been going since Simon secured a gig supporting Ultravox at Hitchin College. Simon left in 2010 due to work commitments, and tragically lost his battle against leukaemia in 2015, aged 55.

The last two years have see the band – Matt on vocals, Phnuff on bass, Rocket on guitar and Oz on drums – appear in Rome and Berlin, and they’re hoping to visit Munich this year.

They’ve released a new record in Italy called Fur Coughs from the Grave, including previously unreleased tracks, and hope to make another all-new album.

Supporting the Bleach Boys at Club 85, on the corner of Whinbush Road and Verulam Road, will be Luscious Guts, the V-1s and Lost Without a Cause.

The doors open at 7.45pm, with entry at £6 each.

Donations to Bloodwise in honour of Simon Kelly can be made at justgiving.com/Deb-Kelly3.

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