Friday, March 16, 2007

Department S

department sFormed from the ashes of faux ska band Guns For Hire, and named after a tv detective spoof, London's Department S released three singles between 1980 and 1981 including "Is Vic There? ","Going Left Right" and "I Want" on Stiff Records. The band appeared on Top of the Pops and a Smash Hits cover. They were on the brink of a break out. They recorded an album called "Sub-Stance" with producer David Tickle who engineered Blondie's "Parallel Lines". The band experienced some line-up changes and a shift in musical styles. Then Stiff decided to stiff the band and didn't release the record. Increased friction between band members and lack of management support was the final undoing.

Mau Mau Records released a CD collection in 1993 but a thorough release of the Department S material came out in 2003.

Sadly vocalist Vaughn Toulouse died of AIDS-related illness in 1991

Department S were:
Vaughn Toulouse - Vocals
Mike Herbage - Keyboards
Tony Lordan - Bass
Stuart Mizon - Drums
Anthony Lloyd-Barnes - Synth
Mark Taylor - Guitar

Hear some more music and watch some videos at the Department S myspace page.

Go to the download page to get Department S - "Going Left Right" 12" version


Blogger Michael said...

I love this band. Was very disappointed that they never made it. "Is Vic There?" is an ace tune. So it this. Thanks.

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for keeping the New Wave alive! (I got my Police tickets for July in Chicago!) For a great fiction read with heavy New Wave overtones, check out "Gutter Boys." Best, Bill S.

1:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great as always. You're one of my most favorite bloggers. Thanks for all the awesome music. ~Cinka

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"(Sub) Stance" is wonderful.

9:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I missed this one first time around. I bought 'Is Vic There' single and loved it. Good cover of T-Rex's Solid Gold Easy Action on the b-side too. Any chance of hosting the MP3 again as I'd love to get this track. I must check out the album link too.
Keep up the good work

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great site... great song. I got it from EMusic where lots of other obscurities lurk so it's well worth a visit.

6:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One Of The Really Lost Bands Of The New Wave. Great Post. Great Blog.
F***king Fantastic.

4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great band. The b-side of "Going Left Right" is a real classic too - "She's Expecting You". Very enigmatic and atmospheric and original. Very 80s too!!!!!

5:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I m looking forward to next update.

3:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correction. Mike Herbage was the lead guitar player and co-song writer. Paul Weller once listed him as one of his favourite guitarists.

2:04 PM  
Blogger Sandman said...

They had a great sound, love the video as well, admittedly i know very little about this band.

11:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

guns for hire was actually a joke. it started as buttons and press, so they finally did a single and played around a bit.
the single was i'm going to rough my girlfriend's boyfriend up tonight. the second guns for hire single was a joke and does not exist. i have their only release and it's fucking decent.

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Wedding Band Kerry said...

Thanks for all Music stuffs that you always shared. No other music can take place Live Music Band.

3:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Department S are playing a gig in Brighton on Saturday December 10th at The Green Door Store, BN1 4FQ. Former keyboard player Eddie Roxy replaces Vaughan Toulouse on vocals.

5:39 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

Department S lived on in spirit as the fictional band Drive Shaft on the TV serial Lost. This was a clever way of alluding to the plot's partial derivation from episodes of the TV series Department S.

Meanwhile, the origin of Department S as Guns For Hire parallels that of the novel Naked Came The Stranger, or that of the fictional recreational downer mint Vip in the movie Lover Come Back.

11:48 PM  

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