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The Hoax were formed in Manchester in 1979. The first line up was Ian Chambers on vocals. Andy Farley (Fox) guitar and backing vocals, Steve Mardy (Sox) bass and backing vocals, and Mike Joyce on drums.

Steve Mardy tells the story:

In February 1978 I bumped into a drunken heap called Ian Chambers in Rafters night club, and promptly sold him a 15” speaker bass speaker. Two months later, Ian invited me to plug it in and meet Andy Farley. The three of us formed an un-named band who went on to audition a number of drummers until late December 1978 when we played our first ever gig at The Highland Laddie pub, Ashton-u-Lyne. It was Tameside College’s Christmas party promoted by Brain Turner – of The Frantic Elevators and later going on to manage Happy Mondays in 1987/88.

Mike Joyce, Andy Farley and Steve Mardy

Whilst rehearsing at TJM in March 1979, Mike Joyce joined what would be The Hoax. In December 1979, Ian fell out with Mike over a woman and promptly left before the release of the group’s first 7” EP ‘Only The Blind Can See In The Dark’ recorded two months earlier at the Cargo Studios in Rochdale.

Oh Darling / We All Hate Myself / Take It Easy / Storm Trooper

Catalogue Number - Hoax 1

Label - Hologramme Music

Year Of Release - 1979

Quantity Pressed - 2000

In January 1980 and whilst recording at Cargo Studios the forthcoming eight track 12” EP ‘So What’, the band played in Manchester at such forgotten venues as: The Mayflower, M/C Polytechnic, The Cyprus Tavern, Band on the Wall, and across other North West venues. The Hoax flirted with the Manchester Musician’s Collective and recorded for its second album ‘Unzipping the Abstract’ (See bottom of page).

The eight track 12" EP entitled "So What" came in June 1980. Following the departure of vocalist Ian Chambers. Fox stepped in on lead vocals and sounded as though he'd been there from the start. This was pressed on blue vinyl.

Rats In The Cellar / Some Say / Nice Girls / Ich, Habe Keine Spur /
Radio D.J. / T.V. Addict / Rich Folk / Schizophrenia

Catalogue Number - Hoax 3

Label - Hologramme Music

Year Of Release - 1980

Quantity Pressed - 2000

Andy Farley - Fox
Steve Mardy - Sox
Mike Joyce

Between December 1980 and May 1981, the Hoax continued to play and recorded their final four track 12” single ‘Quite in the Sixpennys’ The final recording for the threesome was compilation track for the ’Ten from the Madhouse’ album. (See bottom of page).

ANTOK / One In A Crowd / Out You Go / Locked Out

Catalogue Number - Hoax 4

Label - Hologramme Music

Year Of Release - 1980

Quantity Pressed - 2000

Between May and July 1981, amidst an ‘arresting’ mini tour of Belgium, surfing the summer riots, a demoralised final gig at the Anti-Nazi League event at UMIST, and an anti-royal wedding gig debacle with Manchester Council, Mike decided drum lessons and not playing was his way forward, whilst Steve decided on another way to reach an audience.

Mike Joyce - Lessons

Steve Mardy - I'm Outta Here

Andy Farley - Opening The Door to New Recruits

Enter Corvette, Atkinson & Flannigan.

Chris Corvette - 5092
Graham Atkinson - Aky
Peter Flanagan - Flannel


Chris Corvette takes over the story. (Please note that this version of events maybe clouded by old age, alcohol, drugs etc.)

As I remember, I was playing bass guitar for my first punk rock band (c.1980) called ‘Random Gender’ in and around the Manchester area. I was also a massive fan of the legendry punk band ‘The Hoax’ (Farley/Mardy/Joyce) and attended many of their early gigs. I got talking to the guys and managed to blag some support slots with the them. We gigged mainly in the north west and even managed to get a third support slot with ‘The Exploited’ and ‘The Hoax’ at Cleopatra’s in Huddersfield on the ‘Army Life’ tour.

Shortly after that Steve Mardy (bass) left the band to pursue a career elsewhere and I was invited to join the band by Andy. Obviously I wasn’t going to refuse and got straight to work learning the songs. We rehearsed at TJM studios in central Manchester and the attic of a derelict shop in Ashton-Under-Lyne! During this period, Mike Joyce decided to leave and join a band called ‘The Smiths’. We thought he was fuckin’ mad to leave the ‘best’ punk band in Manchester to join some shitty pop band, how could we be so wrong!

Enter Peter Flannigan aka ‘Flannel’ on drums. The band had now taken on a new shape and direction, so Andy decided that he would hang up his guitar and concentrate on his vocals.
Graham Atkinson aka ‘Aky’ was a very good friend of Flannels from a previous band, and he was now recruited to play guitar.

The band entered Hologramme Studios in Stockport (see single for date) to record the 4 track EP ‘Blind Panic’ which was later released on Holograme Records (no connection) with Chris Corvette appearing mysteriously as ‘5092’ & Aky as 'Sly' this collectors item EP sold well around the Manchester area and in the south via Rough Trade/Small Wonder etc.

Pig Farm / Rich Royal / This Is My Life / Sick As A Dog

Catalogue Number - Hoax 6

Label - Hologramme Music

Year Of Release - 1981

Quantity Pressed - 2000

The band then entered a local council sponsored battle of the bands event and preceded to totally upset the judges with a spitting and sneering punk rock performance, performing such classics as ‘Rich Royal’ and ‘Assassinate the Prime Minister’. The boys, on discovering they had been placed 22nd out of 23, confronted the judges in a beer fuelled rage and demanded they be placed last? - but the judges refused.

The band recorded two more tracks which appeared on compilation albums, along with other bands of that era. Details are:


Catalogue Number : NP001 No Peer Records



Catalogue Number : MMC-1 MMC Records


Quarta Lite - Modern Times
Freudian Slip - Hideaway
Chanting In Tibet - Snowfall
21 Miles - Out Of Reach
The Hoax - Now We Are Heroes
Darkness - Religion
Militia - Confused
The Insane - Nuclear War
Just Phase - You Can't Tell Me Anything
Typhus - Strange Feelings

Bathroom Renovations - Intensely Henna'd
Cajun Cutie - Black Man's Hat
Dislocation Dance - You Can't Beat History
The Enigma - Play With Fire
Gods Gift - Creeps In
The Hoax - World War III
If Only - If Only
The Liggers - Pretty Girl
The Mekon - Must Have More Wheels
Outer Edge - Old Wives Tales
Performance - Natural Equilibrium
The Spurts - Boyfriends Or Your Money Back
The Still - 9.5
Undercovermen - Of No Fixed Abode
Vibrant Thigh - Walking Away


Graham Atkinson, Peter Flannigan, Andy Farley and Chris Corvette

Andy was now writing new material which was taking the band in a new, hardcore punk direction. The band members voiced their concerns at the style of music and were all promptly sacked by Andy. R.I.P. ’The Hoax’.

The three sacked members went on to form ‘Emergency’ and as they say the rest is history.

Dennis Mathews and Steve Mardy

Dennis Mathews

Fast Forward to 2007 and a CD release on 'Bin Liner Records' entitled 'The Hoax ....And So It Went 1979 - 1981' (Catalogue No. RubbishCD008).


01. Oh Darling
02. We All Hate Myself
03. Take It Easy
04. Storm Trooper
05. Rats In The Cellar
06. Some Say
07. Nice Girls
08. Ich, Habe Keine Spur
09. Radio D.J.
10. T.V. Addict
11. Rich Folk
12. Schizophrenia
14. One In A Crowd
15. Out You Go
16. Locked Out
17. Pig Farm
18. Rich Royal
19. This Is My Life
20. Sick As A Dog
21. Does Anyone Realise (Live)
22. This Time (Live)


Would the success of this CD and offers of gigs persuade the original members to reform?

No, it would not!

But what we do have is a brand new album released by Retro Records on 8th April 2013. The abum is called 'Live and Unpublished' and consists of a vintage live performance from 1980, plus a bunch of previously unreleased recordings from the same period. (Catalogue No. RET 17).


01. Locked Out
03. TV Addict
04. Rich Folk
05. Radio DJ
06. Some Say
07. Nice Girls
08. Rats In The Cellar
09. Ich, Habe Keine Spur
10. Stormtrooper
11. W.W. III
12. Claim to Fame

13. What A Mistake
14. Take Our Advice
15. Say No
16. Now Is The Time
17. Zoo Life
18. Between The Lies
19. Answer In My Teens

20. Sick As A Dog
(from Piccadily Radio)


© The Hoax 1979 - 2013