(c’83-86) Cathy Lomax (vocals), Mark Charles (drums), Steve Smith (bass, backing vocals), Denzil Daniels (percussion), Dylan ? (guitar, backing vocals) and Ian “Scampi” Fullwood (saxophone).

This Guildford based New Wave Pop 5 or 6 piece were formed in late ’83 by The Vapors bassist Smith, with the core of Shoot! Dispute coming from Pushmepullyou and UBz. Their original four track demo, which might exist somewhere, got them a slot on the John Peel Road Show at the University of Surrey, with some shenanigans by their manager, “The Weasel”. This was on 27 January 84 and they shared the stage with the Geisha Girls – a performance that resulted in Peel coming to their dressing room and offering them the first of two Peel Sessions, produced and engineered by ex-Mott the Hoople members Dale Griffin and Pete Watts, respectively.

27 January 1984: Ticket to the John Peel Roadshow featuring Shoot! Dispute and Geisha Girls

The first Peel Session, as a 5-piece, was recorded at Maida Vale 5 and broadcast on 4 February ’84 and saw them play self penned “Lack Lustre”, “Can’t Believe” and “The Great Explainer” and cover Iggy Pop’s “Fun Time”. Peel said “Shoot! Dispute, a name to remember. The first time I heard the name of the band was when my rhythm pal mentioned them to me but he had to persuade his producer Mike Hawks to book them for a session… I think Hawksy was on his way down for a bucket of Singapore Slings with the Wham boys – remember them – and actually forgot all about it. But an excellent band as I say”.

This got them invited back to Maida Vale on 6 June ’84 when they played “Monkey”, “Power Of Persuasion”, “Gatgun” and “Love For Sale”. They also supported Bruce Foxton’s solo tour in ’84, playing the Civic Hall, Guildford on 3 May. On 17 September Shoot! Dispute appeared at Upstairs at Ronnie Scott’s, London; and the next month – having been personally selected by John Peel – on 5 Oct, they supported SPK (who weren’t allowed to play by the London Fire Brigade because of their onstage blowtorches, causing a bit of a riot) with Big Flame at the ”Putting The Fun Back In to Being Pretentious’ event at the The Institute Of Contemporary Arts, London. This aired on the 26 November ’84 John Peel Show. After which they went into Strawberry Studios, Dorking and released the John Buckley produced “Gatgun” single, backed by “Lacklustre” on their own Zanzibar label in a plain white die-cut paper sleeve in ’85. Originally only available at gigs or at Guildford’s original Collectors Records Shop, it was eventually distributed by SRT Distribution.

Martin Choularton’s copy of Shoot! Dispute’s Gatgun 45. Source: Martin Choularton via Guildford Town Past & Present

Another track, “On To The Wheel”, appeared on The Riverside Club compilation album “Laughing All The Way To The Banks”. This was a compilation of some of the artists who performed at The Riverside Club, Fetcham and only 1,500 pressed (Ian Watson didn’t think it would sell any more) and all the bands gave their tracks free on the basis that he would only do a small run. There was also a Janis Long session. On 6 December ’85 Shoot! Dispute supported Hoorah! Boys Hoorah! duo of Ade Orange, aka Adrian Crickmer,who the following year became Gary Numan’s keyboardist for 22 years, and Helene Muddiman; along with Rob’s Crocodile at the New Merlin’s Cave, London. Their final gig of ’85 was the “Gig For Africa” at The Dorking Halls on 21 December, with a plethora of other local bands including headliners Cardiacs, The Body Politic and Great Garden.

On 16 February ’86 they headlined at The Riverside Club, with The Dubious Brothers in support. The final gig of which we are aware, before the band eventually split for musical and personal differences, was as headliners for the ‘Dance Your Rocks Night’ at the University of Surrey on 27 September ’86 with Press Any Key (ex-After The Fire), Buddy & The Bloodsuckers, Line Design, and Swivel Corps.

Lomax is now an artist based in London and curator and director of the Transition Gallery. In 2016 she was announced winner of the inaugural ‘Contemporary British Painting Prize’ for her painting “Black Venus”. Smith can now be seen in The Shakespearos, and the reform The Vapors. Scampi provided sax on recording by Lax Lifetime in ’87. Charles is currently recording with Natalya KD, in a new band: PerFect C#nTs.