Following the splitting up of Archie's first band The Young Bucks he remained determined to give music another shot. 'I just wanted to play,' is Archie's simple explanation for his single minded vision. 'First I got Rob, then Berk and then Rolo.' Rob Jones had been playing for the previous four years in a pop band called The High Numbers and met Archie when he was doing a stand in stint on sax for Secret Affair. Archie played 2 gigs with Secret Affair and remembers meeting Rob at the Marquee. 'Those Secret Affair gigs were amazing, packed out, the heat generated from the audience was like a furnace up on stage.' Drummer, Dave Berk had played in punk bands (Johnny Moped and a short stint with the Damned during one of Rat Scabies periods swanning off) and mods the Small Hours. Bass player Rolo McGinty had no previous pedigree but went on to form and write songs with The Woodentops in the mid to late 80s. McGinty's best song was the nearly hit Move Me (Rough Trade ATT165) which attracted massive radio play and had some success in Europe.

Via ex-Young Bucks Seb Shelton and Dave Winthrop The Upset cut their teeth on support slots for Secret Affair, Shelton soon taking over management duties. In early 1980 they played some support slots for Dexys and were liked enough to be invited to take the job for the Intense Emotions Tour later that year. It was on one of these support slots that I first saw Archie play live (see the essay Spring 1980).


The Upset played the long summer tour of 1980 with Dexys but were sacked from the tour after more than 30 dates just before the final showcase gig at the Kilburn National. 'I think they found we weren't in tune with them as much as they thought,' said Rob Jones at the time, 'We're not so serious. I'd rather people enjoyed our music than tore their hearts out with emotion'. Maybe, just maybe, one of Archie's new songs, "Only For Sheep", had something to do with their sacking from the Dexys tour. In a little while this song was to be the Bureau's first single, 'That man is in pain / He's shouting so loud / There's a space all around him / A space in the crowd / He's holding his head like it's gonna explode / It's part of a new meaning from deep in his soul.' I've no idea what he's on about, have you?

Shelton's efforts and the Dexys tour led to The Upset getting a record deal with Phonogram. Their one and only single, "Hurt" (produced by Bob Andrews) was released in September 1980 but failed to chart. An article in the UK music paper Sounds records the single reaching 182 in the UK music charts. Archie remembers the single finally getting higher than that but it never broke into the top 75. The Upset headlined a short national tour but Phonogram refused them financial backing and money was tight. Then came the offer for Archie and Rob to take jobs in The Bureau...

Listen to short extract of "Hurt":


The Upset Discography


Hurt / (10-9-8) Lift Off


[Lift Off Label - Phonogram Catalogue no. - Upset 1]




Other Upset songs known to have been played live:

Cool Jerk (Capitols cover), The Speed We're Travelling, Rescue Me (another old soul cover - originally by Fontella Bass), When I'm Touching You and Only For Sheep.

Archie has recently found an old reel to reel tape of The Upset's demos. The tape contains 6 tracks but the titles are unknown as a machine ancient enough to play it is yet to be found.



The Upset page was written by Eddie Metal.