The group broke up in 1984 then briefly reunited in 2004.
The band was originally formed in 1980 by Nick Heyward (guitar, vocals), Les Nemes (bass), Tim Jenkins (guitar) and Rob Stroud (drums). Jenkins left quite early on when the band was unsigned. He was later followed by Stroud who joined the punk band The Sex Gang Children, (a favourite of John Peel). Graham Jones from Sydenham left punk/mod band The Low Numbers to join the band, which at the time was named Moving England. Stroud was replaced by Patrick Hunt on drums who played on their first single Favourite Shirts. The band was unhappy with the quality of Hunt's playing and he was fired and replaced by Blair Cunningham whose solid and funky drumming would prove invaluable as a backbone to their live shows. Cunningham replaced the drum track on the album version of Favourite Shirts although the single has the original drums played by Hunt. During the early gigs, Phil Smith and Mark Fox were drafted to play saxophone and percussion respectively. Originally meant to be session musicians, they were asked to join the line up of the band when they signed to Arista Record.
Haircut 100 seemed poised for stardom, then Heyward left the band to pursue a solo career. Percussionist Marc Fox took Heyward's place as vocalist. In 1984 the band released the album Paint and Paint. They broke up soon after.
In 2004 all of the band's ex-members reunited for an episode of VH1's series Bands Reunited. The group has seriously discussed the idea of reuniting to record a new album, with Heyward quoted as saying "We're all older and have commitments, but wouldn't it be good to dedicate two weeks of our lives to creating a follow-up to Pelican West? It would have that magic because nobody as a player has gone off the boil."
Without Nick Heyward:
A change of record label (Polydor Records) attempted to target a more mature audience with the "new look" Haircut 100 and while the album is a very accomplished offering, Paint and Paint never met with the credit it deserved largely due to fans of Pelican West favouring Heyward's solo work and disregarding the rest of the band, blaming them, in particular Marc Fox, for the break-up of Haircut 100.
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