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Department S

Taking their name from the 60s television series, Department S evolved from the punk/ska combo Guns For Hire. Although it featured several members during its lifetime, Guns For Hire was essentially occasional Face writer Vaughan Toulouse (b. Vaughan Cotillard, 30 July 1959, St Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands, d. August 1991; vocals), Mike Herbage (guitar), Tony Lordan (bass), Eddie Roxy (b. Edward Lloyd Barnes; keyboards - replaced by Mark Taylor in 1981), and Stuart Mizan (drums; replaced by Mike Hasler). Hasler, who drummed for Madness in their Invaders days and also managed the Nips, wrote Guns For Hire’s only single - ‘I’m Gonna Rough My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend Up Tonight’ - which emerged on Korova Records. The group became Department S with the addition of Mark Taylor and Stuart Mizan. They made their live debut at the Rock Garden, London, in July 1980. Demon Records released their debut single, ‘Is Vic There?’, in 1981. It was produced by former Mott The Hoople members Buffin and Overend Watts, but its success led to the better-equipped RCA Records picking it up. The b-side, ‘Solid Gold Easy Action’, featured Bananarama on backing vocals.

Two further singles followed on Stiff Records but a planned album was aborted when neither single charted. Toulouse returned to work as a disc jockey, before re-emerging with Main T on Paul Weller’s Respond label. When two further singles flopped it proved to be the end of his performing career, with the exception of contributions to Weller’s Council Collective offshoot on ‘Soul Deep’, a miners’ strike benefit. He was also linked with the Style Council as one of the personalities behind the ‘Cappacino Kid’, whose writing graced the band’s sleeves. Toulouse died in August 1991 after a long illness brought on by AIDS. Of the remainder of the band, Lordan and Taylor were most recently accounted for as being a postman and cab driver, respectively.
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Sub-Stance

1. Of All The Lost Followers

2. Just Pretend

3. Romany Blood

4. I Want

5. Fighting Irish

6. Is Vic There?

7. Going Left Right

8. Age Concern

9. Somewhere Between Heaven And Tesco's

10. Whatever Happened To The Blues

11. Ode To Koln

12. Clap Now

13. Is Vic There (Live)

14. Going Left Right (Live)

15. I Want (Live)

16. Clap Now (Live)

17. Tell Me About It (Live)

18. She's Expecting You

19. Monte Carlo Or Bust

20. Put All The Crosses In The Right Boxes

21. Solid Gold Easy Action

22. Another Route Home (Demo)

Comments

Report as inappropriate
benjazen
sounds like they are trying to be Sisters Of Mercy with a New Order album title - agree with Jeff K below, but not very good
Report as inappropriate
it's so bad it's good
Report as inappropriate
Rather curious. Something appeals.

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