There Was A Time I Use To Dream: Mega City Four

Mega City Four

Mega City Four formed in the mid 1980’s in the Hampshire, Southern England town of Farnborough. The band consisted of singer/guitarist Darren “Wiz” Brown, his brother and rhythm guitarist/vocalist Danny Brown, bassist/vocalist Gerry Bryant and drummer Chris Jones.

Their debut single, “Miles Apart”/“Running In Darkness,” released in September 1987, resulted in a round of gigs with the bands Senseless Things and Snuff.

“Miles Apart” and “Running In Darkness” were re-released separately in 1988 on independent Decoy Records, but it wasn’t until the release of 1989’s, “Less Than Senseless,” that the critics began to take notice.

Produced by Iain Burgess the group’s debut full length, Tranzophobia, was released in 1989, and unlike many debut albums did not include any of the eight tracks from the band’s first four 7-inch singles.

Already “noted for their hard-working ethics and extensive touring ethos” the band toured extensively around the UK, Europe and North America in support of the album

“working with bands including Les Thugs, Midway Still, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine and Doughboys.”

For their second album, 1990’s Who Cares Wins, the group once again worked with producer Iain Burgess. Jack Rabid, editor-in-chief of The Big Takeover noted that

“the mix is murkier than it should be, and the long record sounds as if it were pressed on cardboard-but the band’s work is dramatically improved.”

When Mega City Four signed to Big Life their former label, Decoy Records, released the twelve-song Terribly Sorry Bob, a compilation of all their non-LP tracks to date.

While signed to Big Life Records the group would record two studio albums, 1992’s Sebastopol Road and 1994’s Magic Bullets.

Produced by Jessica Corcoran Sebastopol Road with it’s

“dense pop songs with deep, jagged edges,” and“mid-range pop-punk crunch with plenty of emphasis on the pop”

earned the group its first UK Top 40 for the single “Stop” and was the group’s only US studio album release; but UK pop fame proved fleeting and a falling-out with Big Life Records consigned 1994’s Magic Bullets to relative obscurity and left the band without a record label.

In the two years before the group signed with Fire Records the group released the The Peel Sessions, which included sessions from 1988 and 1993.

Abrasive and noted by a tight post-punk attack 1996’s Soulscraper is a marked turn around from the pop warmness of 1992’s Sebastopol Road.


Following the release of Soulscraper in 1996 the group broke up with Wiz moving to Montreal and joining the Canadian alternative rock band Doughboys. While a member of the Doughboys “he co-wrote two songs each on the albums, Turn Me On (1996) and Crush (1993).” After the Doughboys broke up he returned to the UK and formed the group Serpico. At the time of his death in December 2006, from a cerebral blood clot, he was leading the group Ipanema. He was 44.

The Forward 4 Wiz trust was set up in April 2007 in memory of Wiz’s inspirational approach to music and to life. Always striving forward, the trust has taken Wiz’s attitude and applied it to what he loved most. New music.”

MEGA CITY FOUR DISCOGRAPHY

Singles, EPs and Full-length

Clear Blue Sky / Distant Relatives (7″) (Decoy) 1988
Miles Apart / Running In Darkness (7″) (Primitive, Decoy) 1988
Awkward Kid / The Cradle (7″) (Decoy) 1989
Less Than Senseless / Dancing Days Are Over (7″) (Decoy) 1989
The Singles (12″) (Vinyl Solution) 1989
Tranzophobia (CD, LP) (Decoy) 1989
Finish (7″, EP) (Decoy) 1990
Finish (12″, EP) (Decoy) 1990
There Goes My Happy Marriage (12″, EP) (Houlala) 1990
Who Cares Wins (Cass, CD, LP) (Decoy, Vinyl Solution) 1990
…And Smells Of Petrol Stations… (12″) ( Bondage Records) 1991
Stop (Maxi, Single) (Big Life) 1991
Stop (7″) (Big Life) 1991
Stop (CD, Maxi) (Big Life) 1991
Stop (12″) (Big Life) 1991
Stop (7″) (CNR Records) 1992
Terribly Sorry Bob (CD, LP) (Decoy) 1991
Words That Say (12″) (Big Life) 1991
Words That Say (7″) (Big Life) 1991
Live (7″, EP) (Big Life) 1992
Sebastopol Road (Cass, CD, Album) (Big Life) 1992
Shivering Sand (12″, S/Sided) (Big Life) 1992
Shivering Sand (CD, Maxi) (Big Life) 1992
Iron Sky (7″) (Big Life) 1993
Iron Sky (10″) (Big Life) 1993
The Peel Sessions (CD) (Dutch East India Trading) 1993
Wallflower (7″) (Big Life) 1993
Wallflower (10″) (Big Life) 1993
Superstar/Chrysanth (7″, CD Single) (Fire) 1995
Android Dreams (CD, Maxi) (Fire Records, Park ‘n Ride US) 1996
Soulscraper (CD, LP) (Fire) 1996
Tranzophobia (CD) (Cherry Red) 2002
Skidding(7″, CD Single) (Fire) 2003

Tracks Appear On:

“What You’ve Got” Justice Is Our Conviction (LP) (State Injustice) 1989
“What We’ve Got” Sounds Blasts! EP3 (7″, EP) (Sounds Magazine) 1989
“No Time” Untitled (7″) (Vinyl Solution)1989
“On Another Planet”, “Clear Blue” Now Thats Disgusting Music (CD, LP) Too Pure 1990
“A Hard Days Night” Revolution No. 9: A Tribute to The Beatles (CD) (Quattro, Pop God) 1991
“Stop” IndieHits (Cass, CD) (Telstar) 1992
“Enemy Skies” In A Field Of Their Own Volume 2 – Glastonbury 93 (2xCD) (New Musical Express) 1993
“Iron Sky” Independent 20 Volume 17 (2xLP,CD) (Beechwood Music)1993
“Wallflower” The Brit Box: UK Indie, Shoegaze, And Brit-Pop Gems Of The Last Millennium (4xCD) (Rhino Entertainment Company) 2007
“Drown” By Any Means Necessary (2xLP) (Youth Against Racism In Europe
)

SERPICO DISCOGRAPHY

Everyone vs Everyone (UK Serpico) 2001

IPANEMA DISCOGRAPHY

“Je Suis un Baseball Bat” / “Skull” (7″) (Boss Tuneage) 2003 Me, Me, Me EP (10″, CD) (Boss Tuneage) 2005
Ipanema S/T (CD) (Boss Tuneage) 2008


Sebastopol Road (1992)

Playing Time: 44 minutes 13 seconds

sebastopol road

1. Ticket Collector (4:08)
2. Scared of Cats (2:41)
3. Callous (3:52)
4. Peripheral (3:30)
5. Anne Bancroft (3:30)
6. Prague (3:48)
7. Clown (4:04)
8. Props (3:44)
9. What’s Up (3:27)
10. Vague (3:51)
11. Stop (3:51)
12.Wasting My Breath (3:47)

Soulscraper (1996)

Playing Time: 43 minutes 10 seconds

soulscraper

1. Android Dreams (2:26)
2. The Dog Lady (4:59)
3. Skidding (1:56)
4. I Stop Breathing (4:01)
5. Creepy Crawlies (4:47)
6. Circles Of One (5:03)
7. I Know Where You Live (3:36)
8. Superstar (2:35)
9. Walking-Glass (4:40)
10. Slow Down (4:27)
11. Picture Perfect (4:40)

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