Percy Biography

“Percy are proving to be tenacious musical survivors – typical Yorkshire Terriers – scruffy and soft looking from a distance but surprisingly quick with a bite and lots of unexpected noise close too! ” TOM ROBINSON BBC 6 MUSIC

Percy were established in York in 1996 and still have the founding members Colin Howard (Guitars and Lyrics) and Andy Wiles (Bass). There have been several different line ups but since 2017 it has included Paula Duck on Synths and Jason Wilson on Drums.

Percy Press photo in conversation


Since the beginning the music has always been quite spiky and left-field, drawing comparisons to The Fall and Half Man Half Biscuit, bands which Percy have been very pleased to support over the years. Since the introduction of a synth player the sound is definitely now reminiscent of the best of the post punk genre.

The full history of the band can be seen on our  Wikepedia entry the most notable aspect of our foundation is the presence of ex-Housemartin Hugh Whitaker on drums 1997-2004. The 1998 ep “West Yorkshire Super Heroes” (Tenfoot Records) got us our first airplay with John Peel and led to a signing to Mook Records in Leeds.

The 1999 Mook single “Donny Rednecks” was the high point for this classic line up as it secured a single of the week in Melody Maker and airplay with Steve Lamacq on his Radio 1 evening session. “ A toe tapping jaw dropper” he once said of that release.

Percy with Hugh Whittaker of The Housemartins 1997


Hugh’s retirement in 2004 also coincided with Colin and Andy having young families so music and live gigs became very sporadic. There was a brief incarnation of the band with a jazz drummer under the name “the Nielsens” and also a version of Percy in 2010 with Andy on drums and Colin on Bass. Andy returned to bass in 2012 when the band was joined on drums by Dan Whiting.

The reputation for powerful stage performance with diverse and Colin and Andy’s eclectic song writing was reborn in that period and continues with a very fast urn over of ideas. Paula’s Synths have broadened the soundscape into new areas with everything from contemporary loops to 80s style fizz. Jason Wilson’s love of Frank Zappa and work with band Neuschlaufen has integrated fantastically with Colin’s tendency to improvise and extend songs live.

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