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Encyclopedia > HellsBelles

HellsBelles were a heavy metal band from Great Britain active from 1983 to 1987. They were considered part of the latter stages of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM). Heavy metals, in chemistry, are chemical elements of a particular range of atomic weights. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

They were unusual for their time in being a distinct mix of two different genres, those genres being punk rock and more traditional heavy metal. The punk element came from the guitarist, Pooch (born Peter Purtill), and the bass guitarist Gareth Holder, otherwise known as Brian Helicopter. Pooch was previously the guitarist for the seminal hardcore punk outfit Discharge, whilst Holder had been a formative influence through the first wave punk band The Shapes. The more traditional heavy metal influence was provided by the vocalist Paul Quigley, formerly of heavy act Bronz, and the drummer Spiv (born Anthony Smith), previously of Brute Force. (The Discharge connection was more pronounced initially as Spiv replaced Discharge drummer Gary Maloney soon after their inception.) In a departure at a time when few bands attracted a crossover audience, a HellsBelles concert could see equal numbers of heavy metal fans and mohawk-wearing punks in attendance. This put the band in the rarefied company of a few other acts such as Motörhead or The Damned who also straddled the divide between punk and heavy metal in the early 1980s. After Holder left the band in late 1986, they recruited Jon Archer on bass, but this incarnation of the band did not last, and they disbanded in 1987. HellsBelles released one full length album HellsBelles, and one 12-inch single "Barricades" during their short span on Castle Communications' Raw Power label, and are notable not so much for their recorded output, but as being one of the first bands to meld heavy metal and punk rock styles in a way that has become ubiquitous in the genre since. Metallica covered one of Pooch's songs on their Garage Inc. collection, ensuring him a long overdue payday, and HellsBelles themselves are featured on many collections and compilations too numerous to mention. Punk rock is an anti-establishment music movement beginning around 1976 (although precursors can be found several years earlier), exemplified and popularised by The Ramones, the Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Damned. ... Brian Helicopter is the stage name of Gareth Holder, a bass player who first came to prominence playing for the punk rock band The shapes. ... Discharge is an influential Hardcore punk band. ... The Shapes were an English punk rock group that came into being in the British town of Leamintgon Spa in the latter half of the 1970s. ... This band were the first to be launched on the US market by the UK-based Bronze Records. ... Motörhead are a Grammy Award-winning British heavy metal band formed in 1975 by bassist, singer and songwriter Lemmy (real name Ian Kilmister), who has remained the sole constant member. ... The Damned are a punk rock and later gothic rock band formed in London, England in 1976. ... Castle Communications is a British record label, specialising in the back catalogue of folk and folk-rock artists. ... Metallica are an Grammy Award-winning American heavy metal band formed in 1981[1] and has become one of the most commercially successful musical acts of recent decades. ... Garage Inc. ...

In later years, the name has been used by an all-female AC/DC tribute band which has no connection to the original outfit. AC/DC are a hard rock band formed in Sydney, Australia in 1973 by brothers Angus and Malcolm Young. ...

Original Members

  • Paul Quigley - Vocals
  • Pooch - Guitar
  • Gareth Holder (Brian Helicopter) - Bass
  • Spiv - Drums

Brian Helicopter is the stage name of Gareth Holder, a bass player who first came to prominence playing for the punk rock band The shapes. ...

Other Members

  • Gary Maloney - Drums
  • Jon Archer - Bass

Web Pages

  • HellsBelles official website



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