(c’85-’87) – Dave Norgrove (guitar & vocals), Ian Martin (drums), and Steve Morgan (bass).

The Body Politic with graffiti that is somewhat reminiscent of The Jam

The Body Politic released the three track “Imogen’s Party” demo in ’85 and partook in the “Gig for Africa” at The Dorking Halls that same year. They posthumously won Soundscene’s Demo Review of ’88 the band found themselves often referred to as Body Politic, as promoters had a habit of dropping the “The”.

The Body Politic supported The June Brides on 8 December ’85 at The Riverside Club Fetcham. A few days later the “Gig For Africa” at The Dorking Halls on 21 December, with a plethora of other local bands including headliners Cardiacs, Shoot! Dispute, and Great Garden. Their final gig of ’85 was back at the Riverside Club for the Xmas Eve Party along with Endless Party, The Choir Invisible, and Uncle Dave & The Butchers from Space.

In ’85, The Body Politic appeared on “The Riverside Compilation L.P. – Laughing All The Way To The Banks” with “Imogen’s Party”, which had been recorded at Catch 44 Studios, Godalming. This compilation of artists, including The Geisha Girls and The Housemartins, who all performed at The Riverside Club, Fetcham saw a limited release of only 1,500 (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. The label was to be Z T HEE, a play on the name ZTT, a label which was huge at the time of this release.

On 9 February ’86, the band were at the Riverside Club, Fetcham; with Great Garden in support. Towards the end of the following month they were at Riverside again, supporting Important Notice on 28 March. We are also aware of an appearance at Dingwalls, London by the band in ’86. There was almost not a month in ’86 without The Body Politic appearing at Riverside, and on 12 December they headlined with The Shift and West One in support. The band was also one of the bands at the final gig at The Old Schoolhouse, Woking on 22 December ’86; headlined by Cardiacs, and with Steel Bill and the Buffalos and Five O’Clock High.

Flyer for the last concert at The Old Schoolhouse. Source: Mark Kettett

They split in November ’87 after a mini UK tour, which concluded in Hastings with Great Garden in support and a punch-up that put several fans in hospital. Reportedly, it all kicked off because they played the Beastie Boys “Fight For Your Right To Party” in their encore and some locals took exception to their treatment of said song.

Martin and Morgan expressed a desire to stick together and form another band at the time of the split. A split which didn’t stop the local press stirring the reformation rumour pot. In mid ’88 ex-Lax Lifetime vocalist Anna Lucy was rumoured to be working with the boys, which heightened speculation that The Body Politic might be on stage at a forthcoming Woking charity gig in September. Another rumour had The Body Politic possibly joining Napalm Groove Squad, Great Garden, & Dance Factory for Woking Live Aid later in ’88. These were all denied, but Martin and Morgen did confirm that they had been songwriting with a couple of members of Great Garden; although one had departed and they were continuing as a trio.

The Body Politic did eventually reform in 2015 and played a number of gigs through to late 2019. Norgrove and Martin are currently in The 4 Marys. Norgrove is also solo-ing and still releasing new music, recently working with Martin on a track titled “Baby” produced by Chris Potter, who has produced/engineered such bands as The Verve, U2, and The Rolling Stones.