C86 Show - Indie Pop

Mega City Four special with Danny Brown in conversation

August 29, 2019

Mega City Four special with Danny Brown in conversation - talking about life in the band & much much more - with David Eastaugh 

Mega City Four were an English indie rock band formed in Farnborough, Hampshire, who obtained popularity throughout the late 1980s and 1990s. Mega City Four consisted of guitarist and vocalist Wiz, his brother and rhythm guitarist Danny Brown, bassist Gerry Bryant and drummer Chris Jones. According to Uncut magazine, the group "earned a reputation across the globe as an exciting live band".

Wiz and Bryant were in a band together at school called 'Stallion', who performed two shows together. One of the shows took place at Cove Secondary School (where "Stallion will come for you" stickers were handed out in an attempt to bolster the bands following) and the show was concluded when the school cut the power. Wiz, seeking more independence to write his own music, decided he wanted to form a new band with Bryant and Danny Brown, named 'Capricorn', after the brothers' shared the star sign.

Capricorn formed in June 1982. They consisted of drummer Martin Steib, vocalist and guitarist Wiz, rhythm guitarist Danny and bassist Gerry. The band had a personal fallout in regards to musical direction and dissolved in 1986. A four-track demo was recorded in 1982, and they released one demo, titled 'The Good News Tape' in 1985.

The trio of Gerry, Danny and Wiz maintained closeness and enlisted Chris Jones (who drummed in local band Exit East) to join their new group. The new name, initially suggested by Steib in the Capricorn era, was decided as Mega City Four. The group were officially formed in 1987 and the band's career started with performing gigs around their local town of Farnborough before making their vinyl debut in September 1987 with "Miles Apart"/"Running In Darkness"[2]. The single led to a round of gigs with fellow punk-influenced bands like Senseless Things and Snuff.

"Miles Apart" and "Running" were reissued (separately) in 1988 on the independent label Decoy, along with the more melodic "Distant Relatives" and "Less Than Senseless". A healthy following latched on to them quickly, and by 1988 the group were performing to packed audiences on a regular basis. Continuing on their local success, the band would eventually release their 1989 debut album, Tranzophobia.

The band continued to tour extensively in the UK, Europe and North America, working with bands including Les Thugs, Ned's Atomic Dustbin, Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machineand Doughboys, amongst many others. The band's second studio album, Who Cares Wins, was released in 1990. Extensive touring across Europe began again, with the band performing in the Reading Festival that year. Who Cares Wins was followed by a compilation album of their early 7" singles, called Terribly Sorry Bob (1991). The band subsequently moved to a major record label to record two further studio albums, Sebastopol Rd. (1992) (recorded by Jessica Corcoran at London's Greenhouse Recording Studios) and Magic Bullets (1993).

This album produced the singles Wallflower and Iron Sky, which both placed 69 and 48 in the music charts respectively. After falling out with their record label, they moved to Fire Records to record their final studio album, Soulscraper (1996). In addition to their studio albums, the band also released a live album, a Peel Sessions disc, and a number of singles. The British music journalist, Martin Roach, wrote a biography of the band, "Mega City Four: Tall Stories and Creepy Crawlies", published in 1993.