Johnny CAT

Honest John Plain was born in Leeds and his early musical influences included The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Small Faces. Along with fellow art student Matt Dangerfield he moved to London in 1971. Plain briefly guested in London SS alongside Dangerfield, ex-Hollywood Brats Casino Steel and Mick Jones (of Clash fame). After the demise of London SS Plain, Dangerfield and Steel formed The Boys alongside Duncan “Kid” Reid and Jack Black.
The Boys were a white-hot live band who was widely tipped to hit the big time. Unfortunately due to some bad decisions and appalling luck The Boys never achieved the commercial success their music richly deserved. Plain also had a brief spell in the Lurkers co-writing their classic single “New Guitar In Town”, which Die Toten Hosen took to Number 1 more than a decade later.
Robbie Rushton was born in Lincoln in August 1955 and his musical influences also included The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Small Faces. He joined the Whizz Kids in 1978 and moved to London when they signed with Dead Good Records. They had regular support slots with the Lurkers, the Damned and the Slits and released a couple of singles, produced by Overend Watts (Mott The Hoople). In the early 1980’s he went on to play with Splodge and Captain SensibleMat Sargent was born in Sheffield in July 1970 and grew up in Leeds. He joined the church choir and won first prize in a poetry competition, making his debut at 7 years of age broadcasting his winning entry live on Radio Leeds. Sargent was classically trained on the Cello and his early musical influences were The Police, The Clash, The Ruts, The Who and Rolling Stones. He moved to London in 1984 and played in several bands before joining Chelsea in 1991. After leaving Chelsea in 1994 Sargent went on to play with Sham 69 (1995 to date) and Splodge (1998 to present). He has also guested with numerous bands including The Beat, Angelic Upstarts, The Business and The Crybabys. For the past 10 years he has been working on a solo triple album “Sex, Drugs & HIV” featuring many famous musicians including Plain who co-wrote the title track. In 1983 Robbie Rushton joined the Mannish Boys, who were managed by Denny Laine’s wife Jo Jo. Plain replaced ex-Hollywood Brats Brady in their line up in August 1984. Having built up a considerable live following they were snapped up by Motown, although they were dropped as soon as Motown realised they were white!
After the demise of the Mannish Boys Plain and Rushton continued to work together in Brat Boy and then the Gringo Starrs with Darrell Bath (Dogs D’Amour). They quickly became the Crybabys and were voted “Best New Band of 1991” by the readers of Kerrang.
Rushton continued working alongside Plain on his debut solo album “Honest John Plain & Friends” as well as the second Yobs album aptly titled “Xmas 2”. Rushton was also earmarked to play a German tour with The Yobs. Unfortunately he fell off the drum riser at a gig in Dusseldorf and sustained a badly broken arm, which left him unable to play the drums for over a year.
Rushton played drums on Plain’s second (hitherto unreleased) solo album “Honest John Plain & His Wine Stains” which was recorded in Boston in 1996 and featured early versions of “Billy” and Sad, Sad Girl”.
Sargent joined Plain, Vom Ritchie (Dr & The Medics/Die Toten Hosen) and Monique Maasen to play a one off gig as punk “supergroup” The Punk Rock Allstars at the first Rock AM Turm Festival in Meerbush, Germany on 23 November 2001. They played a set comprising several Boys, Sham 69 and B B Cider classics. The following year Rock AM Turm asked Plain and Darrell Bath to reform The Crybabys for their first gig in 8 years. Sargent joined original Crybaby Rushton in the line up and they went down a storm in front of a sell-out audience. With the first ever release of their 1992 album “What Kind Of Rock N Roll”, the Crybabys looked set to reform on a full time basis, but alas it wasn’t to be! Immediately prior to the Crybabys reunion gig Plain recorded his third solo album in Argentina with several well known South American musicians. “Honest John Plain & Amigos” was released by Angel Air to great critical acclaim on 12 May 2003 and suddenly there was enormous demand for Plain to take the band on the road. He quickly recruited Rushton and Sargent and the Amigos were born. They made their live debut headlining the “Punk Is Dead” Festival in Nijmegen on 17 October 2003 going down so well the locals wouldn’t allow them to leave the stage! A European tour through Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Belgium followed in November 2003 and resulted in the band quickly building a substantial following.Honest John Plain & Amigos made their live UK debut at Camden’s Underworld supporting The Heavy Metal Kids on 25 March 2004 and were joined onstage for a guest appearance from Plain’s old partner in crime Darrell Bath. The band then recorded their debut album in Annecy, France April/May 2004 at Jean Cataldo’s Rock On Studios as well as playing a couple of sell out live shows. The “Holidays In The Sun” Festival in Morecambe followed in July before they returned to Annecy in September to put the final touches to their long awaited debut album and another sell out gig. They were invited to return to Nijmegen in December to headline another “Punk Is Dead” Festival. The gig saw the launch of The Bips latest album “If Life Was Like A Gig Of John Plain’s”, the title track of which was written following the first Honest John Plain & Amigos gig the previous year.A prestigious return to Camden’s Underworld supporting Jayne County in March 2005 saw the band enhance their reputation even further. With the release of their stunning debut album set for late August and a European tour to follow the band look likely to cement their reputation and move on to even greater things!
Steve Metcalfe


HONEST JOHN PLAIN discography :

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