Steve Lake formed Zounds with friends Steve Burch and Jimmy Lacey in 1977 while they were living in Oxford. When guitarist Burch left after the first year, Steve became the principal writer and singer, first playing bass and then switching to guitar, which he still plays with the current line up.


This incarnation played one gig at the Wokingham rock club supporting local Reading area punk band ‘Once Every 28 Days’. Playing mainly Steve Burch’s songs and one of Steve’s called ‘Government Boys’ (never played again because it was so awful).


Continuing in the same vein, only with Nick Godwin’s Can/Krautrock influences driving the band on to intense improvising that rivaled anything being done at the time by the likes of the Patti Smith Group and Television. Zounds second gig was the first with Nick and the first to feature Steve Lake’s most well known song ‘Can’t Cheat Karma’.


Steve Burch departed to pursue a different trip and Lake became the chief show off, writing the bulk of the material and fronting the band. Zounds continued to develop material through improvisation, but Steve Lake’s songs pushed the bands lyrical content in a more overtly political direction. This line up played the first Zounds London gig at the 10th anniversary of London Squatters organisation ‘the Bit Information Service’


Jimmy left to eventually find infamy with the Magic Mushroom band. The band cast around for a while and teamed up with Judge at the Severn Vale Festival. Judge was a roadie for hippie free festival band Here and Now. The gig was also significant because it was the first time Zounds met The Mob, both bands regularly supported Here and Now, whose free gig philosophy infected both Zounds and The Mob.


After doing the Weird Tales free tours with The Mob and the Astronauts, Nick Godwin left due to so-called musical differences. The band were getting louder and faster, and Nick had other ideas. It was a sad parting of the ways but Steve and Nick would work together in the future. Judge was always semi-detached and he was let go when The Mob’s friend Joseph Porta turned up from Yeovil.


A desperate attempt to keep a sick band alive. The patient didn’t survive.


Protag played bass in this version of the Zounds line up. He has been associated with Zounds since their earliest days of squatted gigs and free tours. His first band, the Instant Automotons, shared many bills with Zounds, and he has served the Zounds cause in a number of ways over the years, not least by borrowing the group van in 1981, writing it off, and leaving it for dead on the Great North Road in Finchley. From that moment he was in. Protag is an ex-member of the inspirational ATV and was the mainstay of the shifting Blythe Power line up for many years. Stick played the drums in this Zounds incarnation. You may have seen him playing with Dirt, Doom or Extreme Noise Terror.


Line-up (2007 – 2019). In 2007 Zounds reformed. Steve Lake recruited Paul O’Donnell (bass) and Paul Gilbert (drums) from The Evil Presleys, a “primal rock n roll” band that they were in together (with guitarist Andy Parker). The reformed Zounds then played sporadic gigs over the next two years including “The Feeding of the 5000” at Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London and the Carling Academy, Birmingham (both with guitarist Dominic Dominion).

In 2010 the band began playing more extensively across the UK and Europe, completing two short european tours: the first was for a week in April (Holland and Belgium) and the second was from 17th September to 3rd October mainly in Germany, plus gigs in Holland, Poland and Italy.

They then recorded the new album, The Redemption of Zounds, which was released for download on 10th July 2011, on CD from July 26th on Overground Records and on vinyl in the US on Brokenrekids in Sept 2011.


2019 to 2022 – In 2019 Dominic Perez Silva joined Zounds on guitar making it a 4 piece again. He also played with the Astronauts alongside Paul O’Donnell.


Current line-up (2023 – to present). In 2023 Joe Davin joined Zounds on bass as Paul OD left to pursue adventures with Pun. Joe, Paul OD and Dom still all also play with the Astronauts Songbook, keeping Mark’s incredible body of work alive.

Those who also served (some for aiding and abetting)

Jonathan Barnett
Kevin Sheridan
Phil the Terrible
Brian Pugsley
Mark the Hitcher
Andy Milner
Steve Bradley
Pete Synth
Little Dave
Grant Showbiz
Herman from Leiden
Steve and Alison
Chris Hudson
Geoff Travis
Mikey Dread
Maja from Serbia
Jim Dog
Mike Thornbury

Background photo curtesy of Christina Alossi