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Red Lorry Yellow Lorry

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Red Lorry Yellow Lorry are a rock band that were formed in Leeds, England in early 1981.

The band was formed by guitarist/songwriter Chris Reed and vocalist Mark Sweeney, along with bassist Steve Smith and drummer Mick Brown (who would later join The Mission). Sweeney left the band in late 1981 and Reed permanently took over as vocalist, with Martin Fagan joining as a second guitarist. The group’s sound, featuring a numbing guitar drone, powerfully throbbing drums, and Reed’s cavernous vocal tones, caused the Lorries (as their fans came to call them) to be quickly lumped into the then-developing gothic rock scene by pop journalists, although the band themselves preferred to cite Wire as an influence.

1982, the Lorries’ manager Dave Hall provided independent record label Red Rhino with a cassette of the group’s demos. Impressed by the quality of the songs, Red Rhino label head “Tony K” (Tony Kostrzewa) signed the band and immediately released Beating My Head unchanged from the demo as the band’s debut single. The song made a strong appearance on the influential New Musical Express (NME) independent record chart. Fagan and Smith soon departed the band, to be replaced by Dave Wolfenden and Paul Southern respectively. While numerous additional personnel changes would occur in the history of the band, Wolfenden became a mainstay and a frequent songwriting partner of Reed’s during the band’s most productive period.

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