The Papers Story

The Papers were based in Brixton South London. The band oscillated between the music scenes in Brixton and Deptford Crossfields estate – the home of Dire Straits, Squeeze and many other fine bands. The scene was agitated, uncompromising, exhilarating - ripe for political protest and full of invention and unstoppable musical carnage. In the middle of this The Papers emerged with their strident tough-talking explosion of challenging agi-pop. Twin brothers John and Mike Fitzsimons were born in Orpington, Kent in 1951. The sons of Irish emigrants they graduated from Essex University in 1971 and directed most of their energies towards various music projects (Plod, Targets, Stan Laurel Band, ...) until forming The Papers with John Wilkinson and Norman Marsh. Following an introduction by their good friends The Skunks (later The Craze) to Salamander Productions, within a year The Papers were recording their first single with Tony Taverner at Maison Rouge Studios in Fulham, London. Panache Music (Malcolm Forester) signed the band for publishing and produced the first two singles. The first single 'How Many More' featured the then US president Ronald Reagan (probably the world’s first ‘sample’). This single gained the band the reputation they wanted – political agi pop. The single rose to number three in the indie charts and was played by national BBC Radio 1. They were playing all over London and headlining major festivals. The bands journo-pop credentials were becoming very well known and CND's No Nuke Music booked them for their London South bank gigs. The tour followed – Cardiff, Exeter, Bristol and Glastonbury then back in time to play two sell out London shows. Journo Paul Strange from Melody Maker wrote a several positive reviews. Elton John’s producer Gus Dudgeon recording the band live at the east London Polytechnic. The follow up single ‘Reggae On The Radio' took the band further into the pop mainstream. The record has appear on seneral compilations since suvh as Heat from the Steets and Britsh SKA. The band expanded the line up to include sax (Bernie Hagley of Vanity Fair), vocals (Jenny Geraty) and percussion (Barry). In 1984 they released a third single 'The Only One I See', an anti war epic recorded at Mekon studios with Rob Doran (Hard Corps). Then the band went their separate ways. Mike joined the Piranhas in Brighton, John Willo became part of God Made Trouble (GMT). Norman and John went west. In 1999 John Fitzsimons re-engineered the unreleased recordings and issued 'Roxy Plays The Wild Card' - an 11 track album. Following the emergence of the new wave of British Bands such as Hard Fi, Futureheads and Bloc Party it was decided to digitally re-master and re-release some of the The Papers material as anew album. In 2006 Fahrenheit In A Centigrade World was released. This is available from CD Baby and on iTunes. But why stop there! The music and the message needs to be out there. In 2008 the band will be regenerated with new young musicians and will be releasing a new single in 2009. Keep up with developments at Get ready for another dose of hard-nosed agi-pop – and learn to dance.

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Live dates

Previous events


Exeter RESPECT festival CANCELLED!!

Exeter RESPECT festival, Belmont Park, Exeter, DEVON

On Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th June 2019 Exeter sprang to life once again in the beautiful grounds of Belmont Park to the sounds of world music & dance at The Respect Festival. Now part of ‘Exeter Live Better’, the family friendly festival celebrated it’s 22nd year with a theme of ethnic diversity marking 25 years since the end of apartheid in South Africa.



Writing and Recording

Writing and Recording, Belgium, Ghent

We'll be spending some time off the road writing new material during Jan/Feb 2018. Sign up to stay up to date x

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