1984 – 1985
Al Grant (vocals)
Mick Dickinson (guitar)
John Woods (bass)
Martin Owens (drums)
Sheep formed in the Spring of 1984 in the front room of a terraced house on Ruskin Street off Anlaby Road in Hull. Their first gig at Spring Bank Community Centre was shortly followed by gigs at The Tower, Hull College, Spring Street, The Wellington Club (with The Vibrators), The Adelphi and The Trades & Labour Club (billed as a gig with UK Subs – although their van broke down so they never made it). Several of these gigs were with 3-Action with the bands taking turns at headlining.
After a couple of recording sessions at the sound studios at Hull College, a demo tape – Into The Pasture – was released in 1985 featuring the best of the tracks recorded. The cover artwork was by artist Paul Noble who later went on to be a Turner Prize nominee so, never mind the music, it’s probably worth a fortune now just for the cover alone.
Musically Sheep were post-punk, art school noise merchants but also drew their influences from a variety of other styles and places.
After the band split, Martin Owens drummed for The Gargoyles and recorded on many of their tracks; John Woods roadied for The Housemartins for a while and took photographs for a couple of their records; and Mick Dickinson joined Ruff, Ruff & Ready and, with them, opened up for The Stone Roses at Spike Island.
The band did try to grill Paul Heaton once to find out whether he’d nicked their name for one of his early songs… he never disagreed.
Into The Pasture (Cassette) – self released, 4 Feb 1985