(c’87-’92) Ian Akeroyd (vocals), Matt “Big Nose Bastard” Harding (guitar), Nick “Nicki McBollox” McCaffery (bass), and Matthew Allan (drums).

Picture courtesy of Matt Harding

Comedy punksters Deceased Disease were formed in 1987 by four friends from Salesian School, Farnborough. In short order, Akeroyd was replaced by Callum Veale with the band performing their first gig at Salesian School, to be thrown off stage for performing an “offensive song about Catholic Priests”. This was followed by an appearance at France Hill School, Camberley alongside Calamity Sax and Jeopardy (later to be known as Warp Spasm).

Paddy Davis (guitar) joined and then leaving, followed by Malcolm “Metal” McDonald (guitar) who also departed and then Matt Farrell (bass), giving the band dual bassists ala-Neds Atomic Dustbin until Farrell left too. Callum also departed. Deceased Disease finally settled on McCaffery, who moved to vocals, Harding, Phillipe “Pierre Le Grand” Ernest (guitar), Kevin “Ugg” Ward (bass), and Curt “Curtains” Evans (drums). The band rehearsed in a garage, from which the emanating amplified sounds produced complaints resulting in a warning letter from Surrey Heath County Council in January ’89.

Deceased Disease at The George. Ash Vale. Picture courtesy of Matt Harding

This combo went on to perform over 60 gigs with McCaffrey often in full drag. The George, Ash Vale was their most regular haunt, along with the West End Centre, Aldershot where McCaffrey once appeared dressed as nun and the show featured pyrotechnics; amongst other local venues and up into London, including The George Robey. The bands appearances at Salesian School included a 12-hour music marathon where they played a set amongst others that included Sacred Leaf, Hassle the Squid, Come Home Mike Gatting, Ian Bryne & The Rebels, McGinty-Noble, The Photon Helmets, Who Moved the Ground?, Cold Fusion, Chest Fever, and Revenge of the Boneless Child.

They performed a mix of classic punk and their own home ‘classics’ like “Satan Rides a Honda Melody”, “Nicks Boots” and a punky cover of “House of the Rising Sun” to a strong following of fans. The band were known for plastering the walls of their home turf of Camberley, like Lethal Dose before them, with posters and handing out flyers all over the place.

During their tenure the band recorded four demos: “The First and Worst”, “Up the Poll Tax”, “Punk’s Not a Four Letter Word”, and “The Jollybigblumble”. The latter was recorded by producer Otteran “Ott” Langrell at Vons Studio, Islington. Ott signed the master tape “Deceased Disease are a bunch of F**king W**kers love Ott xx”. This demo received a great review from Adrian Creek titled “Deceased Disease are Much Better Than They are Cracked Down to be”.

Sleeve for the “Up The Poll Tax” demo cassette. Picture courtesy of Matt Harding

With the help of Magic Moments at Twilight Time and Music & Elsewhere’s Mick Magic they also got played on Camberley’s Christmas Radio Station “Radio Cracker”. The band played their farewell gig at The George, Ash Vale on 8 April 1992.

After the demise of Deceased Disease, Harding went on to form Redefining Beautiful with Severance bassist Martin Warren on vocals. Ward joined indie rockers Backlash and Ernest went on to sound engineering, producing the Who Moved the Ground? single “The Chase” amongst others. McCaffery moved to Ireland to study archaeology and then literally ran away with a Circus, where he taught circus skills to kids and the disabled. Evans is believed to have moved to the US shortly after the band split.

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