Formed in Hertfordshire in 1980, the band began as a 3-piece, comprising former
Jetz members: Den Pugsley, Tony Skeggs and Andy (Wells) Welsford. With the addition
of keyboardist Rick Birmingham, The Pencils gigged extensively on the London circuit for
3 years. They signed to DNO Management in Autumn 1981 and released three singles on the
Next Record label between July 1982 and April 1983 (see discography below).
The band gathered favourable reviews in national and local
press, with their records spun on the UK's premier radio
station (Radio 1) by such luminaries as John Peel, Kid Jensen
and Mike Read. Radio 1 had also previously broadcast a live
session on their "In Concert" series in July 1981.
An album was subsequently completed at Hotline Studios,
Frankfurt, believed unreleased until 2011, when - to the band's
great surprise - an original 1984 vinyl album (on the German
label, X-Records), suddenly turned up on ebay.
April 1983 saw the band embark on a UK National tour and
sign to U.S. record label Parallel. Fate unfortunately, then played its hand. With the sudden collapse of the record company just weeks before the release of an e.p. (featuring the band's UK singles) and the obligatory 'management problems'...the band ground to a halt. The Pencils performed their final show on July 29th, 1983.
30 years on, The Pencils are finally available on compact disc. November 2012 saw American label,
Kool Kat Records release The Pencils Anthology, a 27-track retrospective featuring their original
singles and album plus many more previously unreleased recordings.
In November 2014, the band reunited in aid of the The Susan Giblin Foundation for Animal
Wellness and Welfare by recording a new composition, 'Christmas Is Coming Again'
available on the cd 'Kool Kat Kristmas volume two'.
Harry De Vance