Pigbag was started by Chris Hamlin in Cheltenham in late 1980. He recruited multi-instrumentalist Roger Freeman, (an old friend from his hometown Birmingham) along with Chris Lee (trumpet) and James Johnstone (guitar / alto sax). Later Andrew "Chip" Carpenter (drums) and Mark Smith (bass) both old school mates of James and former members of his previous band Hardware, were recruited for informal rehearsals. It was at these jam sessions that their first hit was developed, from an idea Hamlin had before the band was formed.

Simon Underwood, previously of The Pop Group was invited to join, along with his old friend and tenor sax player Ollie Moore. Simon's connections with manager Dick O'Dell landed their first gig, supporting The Slits at Bristol's Romeo and Juliets. Based on the crowd's enthusiastic response to a 20 minute performance of their first song, O'Dell invited them to record the track for his label Y Records the very next day.

Their first single, "Papa's Got a Brand New Pigbag", was released in 1981 on Dick O'Dell's Y Records, taking inspiration for the title (if not the music) from James Brown's "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag". The instrumental release quickly became an underground dance hit, selling many thousands of copies and appearing high in the independent charts. Feeling that he had created and lost control of a 'monster' with too many egos to contend with, Hamlin abandoned the band.

April 1982 saw the release of their first album "Dr. Heckle & Mr Jive", which was massively successful topping the indie charts for several weeks. A major college tour followed in the spring which put a lot of stress on the band, particularly Roger Freeman. "Papa's" was re-released, receiving club play and making the UK charts, peaking at number 3. The band also made two appearances on "Top of the Pops" on April 8th & 22nd. Freeman departed before the first (turning up later in Dr. Calculus).

A new lineup, including Brian Nevill and Oscar Verden, began rehearsals on April 27th, following up with "The Big Bean" (which peaked at number 40) and a tour of the UK, Europe, New York and Japan.

New York vocalist Angela Jaeger, previously of The Drowning Craze, joined for the next LP, "Lend An Ear," recorded in late summer 1982, followed by a Christmas "Top of the Pops" appearance. In 1983, Angela and Simon Underwood were married at Hammersmith Registry Office with notables from the music scene in attendance, including John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten).

A single, "Hit The 'O' Deck" and the album "Lend An Ear" were released in 1983, followed by a final tour of UK and Europe. Following poor critical reception to the new direction and internal differences, Pigbag split in June 1983, with Angela, James and Simon forming Instinct.
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Pigbag Discography Tracks


Pigbag Dr Heckle And Mr Jive (Album) Y Records Spain 1982 Sell This Version
Pigbag Lend An Ear (Album, Single) Y Records, Y Records New Zealand 1983 Sell This Version
Pigbag Pigbag (Album) Y Records Italy 1983 Sell This Version
Pigbag The Bbc Sessions (Album) Strange Fruit, BBC Music UK 1998 Sell This Version
Pigbag Year Of The Pigbag (Album) Sugar Shack Records Japan 2013 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

Pigbag Sunny Day (Single, Maxi) Y Records, Y Records Spain 1981 Sell This Version
Pigbag Papa's Got A Brand New Pigbag (Maxi, Single) Y Records, Y Records Japan 1981 Sell This Version
Pigbag Getting Up (Single) Y Records Netherlands 1982 Sell This Version
Pigbag The Big Bean (Single, Maxi) Y Records, Y Records US 1982 Sell This Version
BAG 001 Pigbag Another Orangutango(Flexi, 7", S/Sided) Masterbag BAG 001 UK 1982 Sell This Version
Pigbag Hit The 'O' Deck (Single) Y Records, Y Records Sweden 1983 Sell This Version
SPBO-7423 Pigbag Weak On The Knees(7", Single) RCA, Y Records SPBO-7423 Spain 1983 Sell This Version
SPCO-7422 Pigbag Weak At The Knees(12", Promo) RCA SPCO-7422 Spain 1983 Sell This Version
The Silent Underdog / Pigbag The Silent Underdog / Pigbag - Papa's Got A Brand New Pigbag (Single) Kaz Records Denmark 1985 Sell This Version
Drumfish / Pigbag Drumfish / Pigbag - Spirit / Papa's Got A Brand New Pigbag Kaz Records UK 1990 Sell This Version


Pigbag Favourite Things (Comp) Y Records UK 1983 Sell This Version
Pigbag Discology - The Best Of Pigbag (Comp) Kaz Records UK 1987 Sell This Version
Pigbag Volume One (Comp) Fire Records UK 2010 Sell This Version
FIRECD146 Pigbag Volume Two(2xCD, Comp) Fire Records FIRECD146 UK 2010 Sell This Version