Voorhees is a hardcore punk band formed in Durham, England. From early 1990 until late 2001 they released records on international record labels and toured Europe and the USA. Although essentially disbanded, the group reformed for rare shows in 2004, 2010 and have reformed again in 2012 and will be playing several shows.
Voorhees formed from the ashes of other Durham based hardcore bands (Steadfast, Know Your Enemy, False Face, The MacDonalds). Ian Leck and Sean Readman were the driving force and principal songwriters, and the first line-up was completed by Darrell Hindley, Gary Cousins and David Brown. They played their first gig at the Rowing Club in Durham in September 1991, and recorded their first demo the following December (late reissued as a 7" flexi).
Voorhees started gigging regularly including a UK tour with Slapshot, and released the Violent... EP on Armed With Anger Records in early 1993. Michael Gillham (drums, aged 15) and Graeme Nicholls (lead guitar) joined in autumn 1993 to form the first stable line-up. The band's debut LP, "Spilling Blood Without Reason" was recorded in May 1994 at Studio 64 in Middlesbrough and released on AWA Records the following August just in time for the band's first European tour.
Maximumrocknroll magazine's review of the first album; "...I sensed that Voorhees could blow doors off, not just peel the paint. So here you've got it - a 26 track LP harkening back to the days of hardcore bands having something that drove them, the kind of anger and frustration that drives some people out of the room and has others turning it up louder. Wow!"
Kerrang! described the band's sound as a 'blistering" cross between "Discharge and Extreme Noise Terror".
Voorhees recorded a John Peel Session for BBC Radio 1 at Maida Vale studios in London in March 1995, and which was first broadcast the following month (in contrast, Aphex Twin was also in session the same programme).
Other releases recorded by the Voorhees line-up of this period were a split 7" with Stalingrad (AWA Records) and the "What You See Is What You Get" EP on Crust records. Voorhees made it to the US for the first time in April 1996, playing shows with Hatebreed, 25 Ta Life, Charles Bronson, Dropdead, Fit For Abuse and Los Crudos among others, and playing in infamous hardcore dives like ABC No Rio, CBGB's and the Bomb Shelter in Minneapolis. The line-up metamorphisized in the coming years, and Voorhees embarked on several more US and European tours before recording the final album, Crystal Lake's Legacy, on 6 Weeks Records in 2001.
In October 2004, the 'Spilling Blood Without Reason' line-up of Voorhees got together for a one-off show, "Night of the Living Dead at Sea", which was played on a ferry boat on the Mersey River in Liverpool.
On 23 and 24 April 2010, Voorhees re-banded to do shows in Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Leeds(UK). These gigs were meant to be with the classic 'Spilling Blood' line-up, but the volcano ash cloud which grounded all flights to and from Europe the week previous meant Graeme and Paul could not make it as they got stuck in the US Sam Layzell filled in for both shows. He also played in Leeds bands such as Closure, Bonestorm and SickFuckinO with Ian Leck. Ian Leck and Sam Layzell have gone on to provide vocals and bass respectively for Rot in Hell alongside fellow Voorhees guitarist James Atkinson.
Upcoming shows are with Indecision in London (Underworld, Camden)on 25 October 2013 and a last ever show in Newcastle at Trillians on 7 November 2013. In 2014 Voorhees will be returning to Eindhoven but are restricting their schedule due to other commitments outside of the band.
Voorhees have continued to play occasional shows with Negative Approach in Manchester 12 October 2012, '20 years of Violent' at Bradford 1 in 12 club 23 March 2013, 'Slow End Fest' in Eindhoven 8 June 2013, with Sick of it all (20 years since the first time they played together) in Manchester 28 August.
On Sunday 13 May 2012 Voorhees played an impromptu set at Morrowfest in Nottingham as a tribute to their friend John Paul Morrow who died 10 years ago. This prompted them to reform with a pick and mix line up from all the previous incarnations of the band, they played with Negative Approach in Manchester on Tuesday 16 October 2012.