Icons of Filth were an influential Welsh anarcho-punk band that disbanded in 2004, after the unexpected death of its lead singer Andrew Sewell, known as 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 one year.
'Atomic Filth' formed shortly afterwards with Socket (Tony Watts), Daffy (Simon DeManuel) and Aitch (Mark Wilson) 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 Majesty's Service" was recorded in September 1982 by Pete Fender at Xntrix Studios, becoming the first release on Conflict's Mortarhate label (Mortarhate M1). This first release showcases Stig's intelligent and thought-provoking lyrics, which are lined up as a full-frontal attack on those in positions of authority. This was followed up by the May 1983 recording "Used · Abused · Unamused" which was released as a 7" EP on Corpus Christi Records. Ed left after this to be replaced by Fish (Richard Edwards) on bass. In December 1983, Onward Christian Soldiers was recorded and released the following March on Mortarhate records. This LP featured a strong animal rights theme. After extensively gigging during 1984, usually with Conflict, the "Brain Death" 7" EP was recorded in October 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. 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 23, 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. They recently reformed for two gigs in Cardiff for the ten year commemoration of Stig's death, on the 14/15th of November 2015, and played alongside both of Stig's son's bands.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license