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About Artery

The artsy post-punk band Artery formed in Sheffield, England, in 1979, consisting of vocalist/guitarist Toyce Ashley, bassist Neil McKenzie, drummer Garry Wilson, and guitarist Mark Gouldthorpe. The quartet was originally called The but they wisely opted for a change. Artery made their debut on Limited Edition, a label run by their manager, with 1979's Mother Moon single, and were featured a couple months later in a major NME article that rounded up the then fertile Sheffield scene. On the Aardvark label, the band released a double-pack single in May of 1980, which featured two studio songs and a second 7" consisting of four others recorded at the Rotherham Arts Centre. They appeared on the Bouquet of Steel compilation around the same time, which was another Aardvark release showcasing a number of Sheffield bands, including the Comsat Angels and I'm So Hollow. The band was relatively quiet until the release of the Afterwards single in November of 1981 on Armageddon, which saw the replacement of Ashley by keyboardist and guitarist Simon Hinkler, a big fan of the band who had endeared himself to the members by driving them to gigs (Gouldthorpe abandoned his guitar seat to become the vocalist). Guitarist/saxophonist Mick Fidler also joined the group at some point earlier in 1981. Signed to Red Flame, a single called The Clown predated the Oceans EP by a week in September of 1982. Fidler was sacked for missing rehearsals and Hinkler left soon thereafter to tune pianos. Pianist Chris Hendrick filled the void for the recording of 1984's honky tonk-tinged One Afternoon in a Hot Air Balloon LP but exited after determining that he didn't want to tour; Hinkler rejoined and brought his trombone-playing brother, David, along. By this point, McKenzie had been replaced by Dave Hendrick and guitarist/saxophonist John White was also in the picture. For 1985's The Second Coming, the band underwent more lineup changes and went in a heavier direction. McKenzie returned for the recording of the album, and guitarist Murray Fenton joined; Wilson and leader Gouldthorpe remained. McKenzie left prior to touring and was replaced by manager Tony Perrin for the live record Number 4: Live in Amsterdam. Shortly after that, Fenton jumped ship to join the Batfish Boys and Artery folded. Hinkler became a studio rat, working with the likes of Pulp (pre-fame) and All About Eve; throughout the '80s and '90s, he also spent time in the Mission and Mindfeel and worked with Gouldthorpe as the Flight Commander. ~ Andy Kellman

Sheffield, Yorkshire, England

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