By 1981, Stiff and its original pub rock crowd had all moved on and matured, but there was still a great deal of talent playing pubs like the Hope and Anchor. The label couldn’t resist picking up one such band, Motor Boys Motor lead by a former Stranglers roadie, vocalist Terry Moon. Taking their name from Joe Strummer’s 101’s song, they went on to cut an album for Albion before guitarist Bill Carter and bassist Chris Thompson formed the Screaming Blue Messiahs, who had a mini-hit with I Wanna Be A Flintstone.
As soon as the NME caught them live, they were in love. “Motor Boys Motor are an R&B band,” they reported in 1981, “and that doesn’t mean they have anything to do with Q-Tips or other pallid revivalist staxboys. No, MBM come out of a rougher place, where early Yardbirds meet Howling Wolf. There’s something more modern in there too, a bit of Pere Ubu and sound for sound’s sake – plus Beefheart and early acid sounds, really psycho-delic.”