Icons of Filth
Icons of Filth were an influential British anarcho-punk band that disbanded in 2004, after the unexpected death of its lead singer Andrew Sewell, or Stiggy Smeg.
'Icons of Filth' started life as Mock Death in Cardiff in 1979 with Aitch on drums, Daffy on guitar, Socket on bass and Fran and Tina sharing vocal duties. After several gigs in the local area, Mock Death called it a day after 1 year.
'Atomic Filth' formed shortly afterwards with Socket, Daffy and Aitch from Mock Death and Stig Andrew Sewell on vocals. Within a year the name had been changed to Icons of Filth and Socket had left to be replaced on bass by Ed. After gigging extensively, the cassette LP "Not On Her Majesties Service" is recorded in October 1982 becoming the 1st release on Conflict's Mortarhate label, this 1st release showcases Stigs intelligent and thought-provoking lyrics which are lined up as a full-frontal attack on those in positions of authority. This is followed up by the May 1983 recording "Used, Abused and Unamused" which was released on Corpus Christi Records. Ed leaves after this to be replaced by Fish on bass. In December 1983, Onward Christian Soldiers was recorded and released on Mortarhate records. This LP featured a strong animal rights theme. After extensively gigging during 1984, usually with Conflict, the "Brain Death" EP was recorded in Oct 1984. This was followed in April 1985 by the "Filth & the Fury" EP. Not long after this the different members drifted apart due to family and job commitments.
Icons of Filth may have been as well known for their record sleeve artwork as they were for their music. Most of the artwork, which was rather intricate and quite dark in tone, was drawn by Squeal who also invented the "scratchy" calligraphy that has since been used by many bands and artists.
After a long hiatus 'Icons of Filth' reformed with the original recording line-up (Stig, Aitch, Daffy and Ed) and in 2001 recorded "Nostradamnedus" for Go-Kart records proving that, even though they'd matured both lyrically and musically, they'd lost none of their punk or Anarchist ideals. Pete from Spite/In The Shit joined as a second guitarist and Icons of Filth started gigging extensively again, doing 2 tours of the U.S., played a festival in Slovenia and many gigs in the UK, most of which were benefits for various causes.
Death of Stig
While playing at a squat gig in Hackney, London on October 23rd 2004 Stig complained of feeling unwell. He died abruptly of a heart attack shortly afterwards. The band played two benefit gigs for Stig's children in London and LA, after which they decided to disband indefinitely.