The Woodentops began Spring of 1983. Simon Mawby, Alice Thompson, Rolo McGinty, Paul Hookham and James Rawlings. For the Summer they locked themselves away in a warehouse owned by designer Panni Bharti in Clapham junction. Performances in South London included parties, cinemas, galleries and the street. The band quickly became part of the last wave of bands to play at venues such as the Marquee club Soho, Dingwalls, Rock garden and the Electric Ballrooom. Julian Cope took the band on tour followed by the release of 'Plenty'. Tours supporting Everything but the Girl and the Smiths, a recording contract with Rough Trade records and dj John Peel's contstant support led to a frantic 1984. "Move me" was a hit on the indie scene world wide. Followed by "Well well well". Produced by Andy Partridge of XTC the group had now a more robust sound. Frank de Freitas and Benny lee Staples join Woodentops on the bass and drums for 'It will come". A first video is made, including stop gap animation from Panni, who was providing the artwork. The first studio album "Giant" is recorded 1985, continuing the groups critical acclaim and at the same time spawning hit singles. The group by now is international touring, performing in USA Japan Europe. "Hypno beat Live" is a 1986 testament to the peak period the group had then. With "Why" a cut from that album, becoming a huge early hit on the rave scene in the balearic discos of the Spanish coast and Ibiza. The Woodentops began to work more with re mixers such as Adrian Sherwood releasing two more singles from the album. Some classic concerts performed, an impromptu set at 'the Wag club', a residency at the ICA London, the Pandora's box festival Holland with Nick Cave + Einsturzende Neubauten, the Ritz New York, a residency at the Bataclan Paris. !987 sees the recording of "Woodenfoot cops on the Highway". Produced by Scott litt engineer producer of Chic, Nirvana and REM. "Wheels Turning" and "You make feel" went top 30 with "Stop this car" a hit on the west Coast of America. Musically as much in a world of their own as at the beginning, the band toured relentlessly, Anne Stephenson joined the group on violin and keyboards, replacing Alice who left to begin a literary career. The band was now playing huge festivals abroad, main stage Glastonbury, audiences now larger than the eye could take in. Disaster struck. Whilst touring with the Pogues, the band learned that Pete de Freitas, drummer of Echo and the Bunnymen and brother to Frank had died on his motorbike. It was the beginning of a collapse of cards that saw also the demise of Rough Trade. It was the end of the eighties. Several 12" singles were released although for 3 years the band was legally not allowed to use its name! One of those singles "Conehead" was a hit on the Northern techno scene and another "Tainted world" was a hit on Kiss Fm NYC thanks to Tony Humprhies playing it mercilessly. Brooklyn's lenny Dee, another American dj made it a hit on the industrial hard techno scene of the early 90's. A European tour took place in 1992 with the group presenting an augmented funky line up. Skip Macdonald and Yovo M'boueke and Murray Gold joined. An album was recorded but never released. The group took a break, ending a decade of pioneering alternative music and roaring live performances. In 2006, they returned to play a European Tour, with the classic Staples/Mcginty/de Freitas/Mawby line up. A new album is being negotiated with a 2007 tour just completed. The band has returned to its roots as a 5 piece with guitars, Casio, bass and drums with Aine O ' Keeffe joining to play keyboards and vocals. The Woodentops sound has easily crossed through time with many of todays big bands citing them is an influence. Their sound is undefinable, changing from song to song, unified by the unmistakable English voice of Rolo Mcginty.