Were The Physicals Punk Rock’s first supergroup? They certainly included some of the cream of the punk rock crop.
Vocalist/guitarist Alan Lee Shaw (Maniacs), bass player John Towe (Chelsea/Generation X), Alvin Gibbs (Users/UK Subs) and Paul Cook (Sex Pistols) all featured in the line-up. Others members were: Chris Sol – Bass, Jonathan Trevisick – drums and Steve Schmidt – lead guitar.
The Physicals existed from 1978 and lasted until 1980. They were London based and began playing regularly at such venues as The Nashville and The Music Machine, soon building a substantial following.
As demand for a record grew the band decided on the fastest option and recorded 4 songs live without overdubs onto a 2 track Revox machine. They released it as “All Sexed Up” on their own label Physical Records in September 1978. Despite getting banned purely on the basis of the title by The Independent Broadcasting Authority it sold all 5,000 copies pretty quickly, since becoming a collectors’ item.
Steve Jones and Paul Cook heard the demos for the next single and offered to produce it. Steve Jones was busy with other commitments so Paul Cook took charge both as producer and drummer on the record. The single was finished in early 1979 but for various reasons wasn’t released until 1980 on Big Beat Records.
During this delay the band toured with Thin Lizzy, did an Irish tour and continued to build on their already substantial live following. With a lull in their activities, Brian James asked Alan to join his band The Brains, and Charlie Harper asked Alvin to join the UK Subs. The other members decided to pursue other projects and The Physicals disintegrated.