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Saturday 12 January 2008

Nilon Bombers

I'll admit now that I'd never heard of the Nilon Bombers until I was introduced to them by my chum Steve, who's one of those people with an encyclopaedic knowledge of crap old music. I'd love to pretend he told me about them when we were fucked up after a week long opium and absinthe bender, but we were playing Facebook scrabble. How the indie have fallen.

Anyway, Nilon Bombers were a Gloucestershire four-piece that knocked around for a few years in the mid-90s and, joy of joys, supported Carter USM! So that's all the indie credentials I need to put them in here. Even better, they supported them at the Melkweg in Amsterdam; possibly the most indie of all European venues, not least because of its immortalisation in a Half Man Half Biscuit song. I went to Amsterdam with work a few years back and on my last day there, I wandered around the centre of the city and popped into the Melkweg for a coffee and sandwich to kill a bit of time. The night before the Reindeer Section had played there. If I'd known the day before I'd have gone there instead of spending a tedious evening with a bunch of medical writers.

Sorry. Where was I? The band were moderately famous in the mid-90s, supported Carter, played at T in the Park, released an album and a few singles and split. Latterly, Martin Williams the drummer joined a band called Silverman. As an extra bit of interest, Superstar, the EP I've robbed the title track from, was produced by legendary music bod Kim Fowley. That's a bit of music trivia to show off with.

If like me you've never heard Nilon bombers - Superstar you can here. Enjoy it, it's rather good and it's one of those songs that's trapped in time because of the famous people it name checks.

Of course, if you have heard of them feel free to enjoy them as well, and next time you're in Amsterdam pop down the Melkweg, they do good sandwiches.


  1. BLIMEY!

    as a cheltenham resident for the majority of the 90s, everyone kind of looked up to the bombers because they were The Signed Band in town. i had completely forgotten about superstar but without even downloading it i know that the "best" bit is about RODNEY BEWES! when the alBUM came out they did a special MIDNIGHT OPENING at the virgin megastore in town, which was rather weird. also i seem to recall the alBUM having Too Much Bazouki on it.

    Martin went all dancey-dancey i think, and ended up winning some interweb music competition that involved him going to the Playboy Mansion...

  2. I remember interviewing them for a student paper, back in the day. I don't think the Kim Fowley sessions went that well, sine he tried to take Martin "outside" at one point. Wonder what happened to that t-shirt I had...

  3. Still got my Nilon Bombers Superstar t-shirt somewhere. Very fetching with a pic of Tommy Cooper on it!

  4. Anonymous07 May, 2008

    The singer was Andrew Norton, he grew up in the same viaage as me in Gloucestershire

  5. Anonymous25 July, 2008

    Hello, I lived in Cheltenham between 1990 and 95 and am proud to say that I went to a number of the Bombers gigs. My band even supported them with Girl of the Year (another Cheltenham indie band).

    Superstar is a great track but I don't think it's their best - you should check out 'Cracked' if you get the opportunity - it has to be the original 7" version though and not the album one.

  6. I just found Cleo when I was nosing through my itunes - lovely track!

    Shame they didn't make it. Saw them supporting Gene I think as a kid in Bristol.

  7. Growing up in Evesham in the 90s, we had to look hard for our local music types. Nilon Bombers were a real flash in the pan and weren't that much cop. We had Bang Bang Machine, teenage punkers Tribute To Nothing (in Worcester) and grizzled glam cock rockers Wrathchild (http://www.wrathchild.cjb.net/) and that was about it. Sigh.

  8. They have just opened a Website at

    I saw them about 12-15 times and thought they were brilliant live. Shame the album wasn't very good.

  9. I remember them playing the wonderful Phoenix Festival in Stratford-upon-Avon - not sure if it was 1996 or 1997 - I'll plump for 1997. That makes it sound like I saw them, but I didn't. I had combed the programme looking for bands to catch at the Dr. Martens tent - these and Laxtons Superb stick in the mind for some reason. I probably missed them because of booze and/or drugs and/or a girl. The singer had a passing resemblance to Boag out of These Animal Men, but with bright red hair.

  10. I remember when I was desperate for music and there wasn't all the myspace etc. listening to the Evening Session on Radio One and coming across Superstar, really enjoyed that song. Alas, still trying to track down the album..............

  11. i know pretty much every indie group form the 90s, and never heard of them. i bought their album for 1p on amazon after reading about it on popwerpopcriminals, and i've gotta say, i like it! nice reading about people's memories too

  12. Girl of The Year was brilliant. Such a shame you cant find any of their stuff online :(

  13. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qaZGldEuA4

  14. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Asln1ORELbA
    GoTY on YouTube :)

  15. My girlfriend had an orange nilon bombers tshirt and her boobs looked amazing in it. I must have a picture of it somewhere...

  16. I think she knew one of them. I mean, she probably had a fling with him before I was around. I met him once. (we both lived in cheltenham). Can't remember his name. Very nice chap though.

  17. Anonymous24 June, 2014

    Check this out - its a cover of 'superstar' for a britpop covers compilation - except the words are changed to be about britpop stuff. nice!