Saturday, 19 December 2009

The Ignerents - a brief history in time

The Ignerents were formed in 1977 in Whitstable, Kent, by brothers Chris and Steve Harris, joined by neighbour Mark Leighton on guitar, vocalist Kevin Holmes and drummer Stan 'Gretsch' Littlejohn. The band were an important part of the local Kent punk scene in the late seventies in Kent alongside bands like Wild Billy Childish's Pop Rivets, The Names, Naughty Thoughts and The Rivals (see

All of the band went to Queen Elizabeth's School in Faversham. The band were managed by a third Harris brother, Phil, who was quick to recruit Ben Challis from another local punk band, The Plague, when Kevin Holmes dropped out as lead singer just before the band's first gig in Whitstable. In its final and most successful lineup (as the Ignerents), the band was a fourpiece consisting of Ben Challis (vocals), Steve Harris (guitar), Chris Harris (base) and Stan Gretsch (drums). The band released one single in 1979 (Radio Interference b/w Wrong Place Wrong Time. The Ignerents also featured on the First Offenders compilation album in 1980 with two tracks, Harbour Street and I Won't Be There. Wrong Place Wrong Timealso featured on the German Punk series 'Back To Front'. The band finally evolved into a new band, The Beekeepers, which featured Nick Appleton on guitar alongside Steve and with Chris, Ben and Stan, and then finally with Russel Lax on drums (who, in the then small Kent new wave music scene had, I think, been the Pop Rivets' drummer!). The Beekeepers released one single, Platform 5 b/w The Trouble With You in 1981.

On the live circuit the Ignerents were active from 1977-1981 with numerous gigs that included the Marquee Club and the Vortex in London and support slots with bands like 999, The Only Ones, Wayne County & The Electric Chairs and Chelsea.

The band's history has been marred by two tragic deaths: firstly, Stan, by noiw drummer with the Rivals, died in a road accident in 1981 and then in 1994 Chris died in a drowning accident whilst on holiday. Both are still much missed. The band released the Beekeepers single to celebrate Stan's life and played a final tribute gig to celebrate Chris's life at the Tankerton Arms in Whitstable in 1994 and in 1997 released a CD (Woodbines, Tears and Jealousy)which featured all of the Ignerents' previously released tracks and another ten archive tracks.

Various tracks also feature on other compilation albums (see the Discography) including Wrong Place Wrong Time on Back To Front Vol 4 and Call me Irresponsible on Punks, Skins & Rude Boys III.

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