AUTONOMES

The Autonomes existed from 1978-1980. Hailing from the Sketty Park/Tycoch area of Swansea, the band debuted at The Heathcliff Club in Mount Pleasant supporting Next Step and the newly-formed Venom. With an average age of 15, their gigging availability normally depended upon whether it was a school night and if Dick 'The Wedgefaced Axeman' Strawbridge's dad would drive them to the show in his wood-panelled Vauxhall estate. Behind Wedgie on guitar, drummer Andrew 'Griff' Griffiths kept things tight. Original vocalist Steven 'Stan' Hanney left after only a few appearances to join Ian Bone's Living Legends and was replaced by Neil 'Smelly Nelly' MacDonald. Bassist Greg 'Weg' Evans (former Noise vocalist and younger brother of Venom co-founder Glenn Evans) left soon afterwards and was subsequently replaced by 13 year-old Stephen 'Haggis' Harris. Appearances at the infamous Olchfa Drama Hall gigs in early 1980 cemented that final lineup as the band's material started to veer from earlier punk compositions such as Chaos and Do The Stormtrooper towards the more chemically-influenced Who's Going Up The Watertower and Doomsday. The band's final gig was at Circles in late 1980.