Artist Biography by Chris True
Sometimes a name just sticks. The Thieving Magpies had no intent on renaming their band after a brand of bathroom fixture (i.e., toilets, urinals, etc.), but when they had a drunken night out, the thought of the band being named after the toilet in the pub bathroom just couldn't be shaken -- even when the band attempted to change the name to the Distractions. One can't help but think, however, that such a name is a perfect fit for a British punk outfit that has worked with both Billy Childish and Thee Headcoats. Formed in 1990, Armitage Shanks (in their previous moniker) were a punk group in the purest of senses. Not exactly experts on their instruments, they pushed ahead anyway, replacing skill with bravado and gaining a small yet cultish following. They worked with the aforementioned Childish, and played numerous gigs with Thee Headcoats. The band survived numerous lineup changes and breakups, and released a few albums -- both live and studio -- and a smattering of singles along the way (the debut, Takin' the Piss, was released in 1993). By 2004, the Shanks were still around, having toured continental Europe, England, and the United States, as well as putting together two DVDs and a fairly full discography. That year also saw the release of Urinal Heap, a full-length for Damaged Goods. In 2005 the band (the lineup at the time being Dick Scum, Rod Vomit, Vic Flange, and Dave Dirtbox -- further argument that the fixture-based name fits) continued its live shows, including a fall tour of the States.