1988 – 1991; 2012 – present
Dave Vasey (guitar / vocals)
Eric Jackson (guitar)
Andy Muddiman (bass)
Alan Ramsay (drums)
Bob Scott (vocals)
Tony Holdway (guitar)
Technically falling outside of the area covered by the Hull Music Archive, The Pop Pigs hailed from Scarborough, but like many bands from the 80s/90s east coast scene, they were heavily linked with Hull and played here as much as anywhere else. They also appeared on local compilation tape Hull – North Of Manchester, securing their place in the Archive by association. We caught up with guitarist Eric Jackson who told us the story of the band from then till now…
The Pop Pigs were actually from Scarborough, but we played regularly at The Adelphi, and were sufficiently embraced by the Hull indie scene of the late 80s that we were asked to contribute a track to the anti-poll tax Hull – North of Manchester cassette in 1989.
Formed late in 1987, we’d all been in, or were still in other bands already, and the original idea was just to have a laugh and do some covers of songs we liked, that no one else did covers of – so the early set was a mixture of a few originals from our other bands, and a diverse range of covers – The Long Riders, Alex Harvey, Gentle Giant, The Stooges, REM…
We planned to change the band name for every gig. For our first gig we were called Hetero Yuppies On Oatcakes, and for our second we called ourselves The Pop Pigs. The venue (Stage Door, Scarborough) was packed, and we realised that if we kept changing the name, no one would know it was us, and we’d have to build a new audience every time…so we were stuck with Pop Pigs.
The band at this time consisted of:
Bob Scott – vocals
Tony Holdway – guitar
Eric Jackson – guitar
Andy Muddiman – bass
Alan Ramsay – drums
We did probably a dozen gigs with this line up, and recorded a demo, before Bob and Tony both left and were replaced by Dave Vasey on guitar and vocals, who we knew from Whitby band White Rose.
At this point we pretty much dropped the cover versions, other than the occasional Buffalo Springfield or Byrds number in the live set, and started writing in earnest. This is the “classic” Pop Pigs line-up that continued until we split in 1991. We called our music “hard pop with soul”.
Our connection with Hull developed as we organised swap-gigs with many Hull bands of the time, them supporting us in Scarborough, us supporting them in Hull. We had some great nights in the Adelphi and perfected our order at the chippy round the corner. The band gigged constantly, all over the country on the “indie” and Student Union circuit, and were championed in the Melody Maker with some outstanding reviews from (then junior) reporter Dave Simpson.
We recorded a couple of demo tapes, but never released any music commercially at the time.
I’m not sure why we split up – it happened one night when I wasn’t there, and I think the other three had a massive row. The last gig was at Ripon College Student Union in autumn 1990. I recall everyone travelling separately.
We stayed chums (or made up) over the years, sometimes a couple of us even playing in bands together.
Late in 2012 Dave contacted each of us individually and said he was writing new material that “sounds like Pop Pigs songs” and did we fancy it? Yeah, why not?
We decided to warm up at that first rehearsal by playing “See The Day” for the first time in over 20 years. We played it cock-on. It was an amazing feeling. The next one we tried was a shambles – but hey…
We’ve since recorded two albums and are working on a third, playing live occasionally but with the main focus on writing and recording.
Perfect Moon (digital) – self released, 16 Feb 2018
Rain On Water, Rain On Stone (CD, digital) – self released, 1 Aug 2015
English Summer (CD, digital) – self released, 1 Jul 2017
Hull – North Of Manchester (Cassette) – [none], 1990 (track: Time)