The Men They Couldn’t Hang came
together in 1984 to perform at the alternative music festival in Camden town
alongside the legendary Pogues and the Boot Hill Foot-Tappers. Paul Simmonds,
Philip ‘Swill’ Odgers and his brother Jon, veterans of the Southampton based
pop-punk band ‘Catch 22’, met Pogues roadie Stefan Cush whilst busking in
Shepherds Bush in London.
Their early line up was Stefan Cush
(Vocals, Guitar), Paul Simmonds (Guitar, Bouzouki, and Keyboards), Philip
Odgers (Vocals, Guitar, Tin Whistle, and Melodica), Jon Odgers (Drums,
Percussion) and Shanne Bradley (Bass, Flute).
Championed by the late John Peel their
first single, a cover of Eric Bogle’s ‘Green Fields of France’ (1984),
became a big hit on the UK Indie charts and a staple of Peel’s festive 50.
Their first album, “Night of a Thousand Candles”, was released in 1985.
It includes the singles ‘Ironmasters’ and ‘Greenback
Dollar’. Signing for MCA the following year, they recorded their second album,
“How Green Is the Valley”, produced by Mick Glossop. Included on this album are
the singles ‘Gold Rush’, ‘Shirt of Blue’ and ‘Ghosts of Cable
In 1987 Shanne Bradley left the band
and was replaced by Ricky McGuire, famous for touring with punk legends the UK
Subs at the tender age of 17. With their third release in 1988, “Waiting for
Bonaparte”, The Men They Couldn’t Hang were starting to achieve recognition
across Europe for their political comment and raucous live shows.
Over 14s welcome, under 16s must be accompanied by a adult (18+), ID will be required.