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The Horrors are an Englishmarker Shoegaze and Psychedelic rock band who formed in mid-2005. They released their debut album Strange House, which reached number 37 on the UK Albums Chart, in 2007. Their second album Primary Colours was released in 2009 and reached number 25 in the UK.

They are currently working with Damon Albarn, and may appear in the Gorillaz' new album coming out early next year.

Band history


The Horrors have their origin in the early 2000s where they became interested in obscure vinyl and DJing. During trips to Londonmarker and on the Southend circuit, Rhys "Spider" Webb met Faris Badwan (Faris Rotter)and Tom Cowan (Tomethy Furse), who had attended Rugby Schoolmarker together, through their shared interests in '60s garage rock, and in 2005 the three formed a band with Joshua Hayward (Joshua Von Grimm) and Joseph Spurgeon (Coffin Joe). The band formed around Junkclub, an underground club founded by Oliver Abbott and Rhys. Their first rehearsal consisted of two covers: The Sonics' "The Witch" and Screaming Lord Sutch's "Jack the Ripper" (heavily influenced by previous cover versions by The Fuzztones, One-Way Streets and The Gruesomes) - the latter would later find itself as track one on the band's debut album. The Horrors made their first ever live performance at The Spread Eagle on Kingsland Road in London on 16 August 2005 at a night they put on themselves under the guise of The Brothers Grimm. They played with one other band, London's new wave punk pop band LR Rockets.

Increase in popularity

The Horrors first gained noticeable exposure thanks to their first single "Sheena Is a Parasite." Their second release, "Death at the Chapel," a high-profile show at Londonmarker's 100 Clubmarker in July 2006, and an appearance on the cover of the NME in August, greatly increased their profile. As a result of this exposure, the band played the NME Awards Indie Rock Tour in early 2007 along with Mumm-Ra, The View and The Automatic which helped them to gain further publicity.

Strange House and beyond

Having released their debut album Strange House in March 2007, The Horrors played a world tour to promote it. A slot as a support act for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club in the USAmarker in the summer was cancelled due to lack of funds, and the band instead headlined a US tour in June. They made a number of festival appearances throughout 2007, including appearances at the Glastonbury Festivalmarker, the Carling Weekend (on the Radio 1/NME stage), various Scandinavian festivals, the Summer Sonic Festival in Japanmarker, and Splendour in the Grass in Australia; their setlists throughout the summer contained a cover of "No Love Lost" by Joy Division. The Horrors also appeared in the third series of The Mighty Boosh in December as the fictional band The Black Tubes, and supported the Arctic Monkeys on their sell-out arena tour of the UK, at which they predictably received a mixed reception. The band played an NME Awards show in 2008 with Crystal Castles, Ulterior and These New Puritans, and supported The Sonics (a major influence on the band) on 23 March, their last London show until their appearance at Bethnal Green's Rich Mix on 23rd May of the following year. On January 18, Counting in Fives, a documentary of the band's 2007 tour of the USA, was unveiled at the Sundance Film Festival.

Primary Colours

At the end of 2007, The Horrors announced the forthcoming recording of a new album. The album was produced by the band, Craig Silvey, Geoff Barrow of Portishead, and music video director Chris Cunningham. Recording took place in Bathmarker during the summer of 2008. The band were forced to pull out of their planned appearance at the Underage Festival due to recording schedule conflicts. The band signed to XL Recordings after they left Loog Records in 2007. The only release from the band between the "She Is the New Thing" single in June 2007 and the new material in 2009 was a cover of Suicide's "Shadazz," released by Blast First Petite as part of their tribute to Alan Vega in October 2008. A few weeks before the new album's release, a number of songs from the album were leaked. The album's first single, "Sea Within a Sea," was released as a digital download-only single on 17 March 2009. A music video for the song, directed by Douglas Hart (former bassist for The Jesus and Mary Chain), was also posted on the band's website on the same day. The sophomore album Primary Colours was officially released 4 May 2009 to critical acclaim and reached #25 on the UK Albums Chart. The single "Who Can Say" was released on 7" vinyl one week later. Primary Colours was nominated for the 2009 Mercury Prize.

Band members

Temporary band members
  • Freddie Cowan (Tom's brother and guitarist with The Daze) – guitar, replacing Joshua Third for several gigs when he was taking his exams.


The Horrors have compiled several fanzines, distributed at concerts and through independent record shops. The fanzines include free CD compilation albums of songs chosen by the band, and are designed by The Horrors and Ciaran O'Shea, a friend of the band who has also designed sleeve artwork for both The Horrors and Neils Children.

  • The first fanzine, entitled Horror Asparagus Stories after a song by The Driving Stupid, was a selection of US garage rock bands from the 1960s, and was given out at the O2/NME Rock 'n' Roll Riot Tour. It featured an A-Z of bands chosen by Spider Webb, a guide to effects pedal distortion by Joshua Third, a guide on how to make skinny jeans by Coffin Joe, notes on the bands and songs featured on the free CD by Tomethy Furse, and illustrations by Faris Badwan. The fanzine also features illustrations from an original Horrors Forum member, which can be found on the second-to-the-last page.
  • The second fanzine was given out on the NME Awards Indie Rock Tour. The CD compilation featured songs themed around outer space, and the fanzine also included instructions on building guitar pedals by Joshua Third, part one of Coffin Joe's guide to dancing the "Beat Step," and Tomethy Furse's guide to the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Faris Badwan once again drew illustrations.
  • The third fanzine, Heartbreak Ahead, was given out at The Horrors' performances at the Glastonbury Festivalmarker in [200, and featured a CD of girl group songs chosen by Faris Badwan, who once again illustrated the fanzine. Included were a feature on Neils Children (who supported The Horrors on their recent tour), comments on the video for "She Is the New Thing" from its director Corin Hardy, the second part of Coffin Joe's "Beat Step" dance guide, a guide by Spider Webb to his top ten "mad records," a feature on the Experimental Circle Club, and an introduction to Spider and The Flies, the side project of Tomethy Furse and Rhys Webb.



Date of Release Title Label UK Chart Peek
5 March 2007 Strange House Loog #37
4 May 2009 Primary Colours XL Recordings #25


Date of Release Title Label
24 October 2006 The Horrors EP Stolen Transmission
6 October 2008 "Shadazz" (also featuring Suicide and Nic Void) Blast First Petite


All of the singles released by The Horrors prior to "Gloves" have been chart ineligible because they have been packaged with inserts and stickers, breaking chart rules.

Date of Release Title B-side(s) Label UK Chart Peak Album
10 April 2006 "Sheena Is a Parasite" "Jack the Ripper" Loog N/A Strange House
31 July 2006 "Death at the Chapel" "Crawdaddy Simone" N/A
30 October 2006 "Count in Fives" "Who Says"

"A Knife in Their Eye"
26 February 2007 "Gloves" "Kicking Kay"

"Horrors' Theme"

"Death at the Chapel" (Live)
25 June 2007 "She Is the New Thing" "Sister Leonella"

"Draw Japan" (Dandi Wind Remix)

"Excellent Choice" (re-recorded)
17 March 2009 "Sea Within a Sea" XL N/A Primary Colours
11 May 2009 "Who Can Say" "You Could Never Tell" N/A
4 October 2009 "Whole New Way" "Primary Colours" N/A

Music videos

Year Song Director Album
2006 "Sheena Is a Parasite" Chris Cunningham Strange House
"Count in Fives" Daniel Wolfe
"Count in Fives" Tim Mattia
2007 "Gloves" Daniel Wolfe
"She Is the New Thing" Corin Hardy
2009 "Sea Within a Sea" Douglas Hart Primary Colours
"Who Can Say"
"Mirror's Image" Nicky Smith aka Weirdcore
"Whole New Way" Dave Ma


  1. Stool Pigeon magazine, April 2007.
  2. - Badwan announces cancellation of BRMC support slot
  3. - Horrors tour dates, Summer 2007
  4. Youtube - The Horrors + Count In Fives
  5. Horrors - "Sheena Is A Parasite". MTV. Retrieved October 18, 2009.
  6. Horrors - "Count in Fives". MTV. Retrieved October 18, 2009.
  7. Partizan - Music Videos - Daniel Wolfe. Retrieved October 18, 2009.
  8. Partizan - Music Videos - Daniel Wolfe. Retrieved October 18, 2009.
  9. The Horrors - She is the New Thing. Retrieved October 18, 2009.
  10. The Horrors’ Sea Within A Sea by Douglas Hart. Retrieved October 18, 2009.
  11. The Horrors’ Who Can Say by Douglas Hart. Retrieved October 18, 2009.
  12. The Horrors’ Mirror’s Image by Weirdcore. Retrieved October 18, 2009.
  13. the horrors whole new way. Retrieved October 18, 2009.

External links

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