The band was formed in 1980 by Mike McGuire (vocals) and Steve Rolls (Guitar) after disbanding 1st generation punk band The Now. They recruited Pete Jostins (Bass), Shaun Foreman (Guitar & Keyboards) and Colin Meech (Drums), with various others contributing in their early days. They were initially influenced by bands such as A Certain Ratio and Shriekback. Their first releases were two self-financed singles, "Jane's Third Party" and the To You, With Regard EP, in 1980 and 1981 respectively. The latter was sufficiently successful to attract major-label interest from CBS and Virgin Records, but after a further single on their own 'Chant' label, and with guitarist Simon Childs added as a permanent member, they signed a deal with Warners subsidiary Blanco y Negro, debuting on the label in 1986 with eight versions of the single "Sing Song". After releasing the Spacemate package - a double LP, book, poster, set of cards and instruction manual, packaged together in a soap box container and designed by Jon Wozencroft, the band moved on to indie label Rough Trade Records, where they would stay for the rest of their career. Their fondness for remixes was evident on their first Rough Trade release, a 7-inch EP featuring eight, 1 minute songs and titles "Autumn Cut Back Job Lot Offer", released in early 1987. The following year, they released their second album, '76 Kids Forever, which they described as a "soap opera musical". With Childs departing, the band continued for one final effort, 1990's Ko-Opera album, before splitting up.