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Leicester based Hard Rock band CHROME MOLLY are best remembered for possessing a penchant for good time, anthemic Rock and noted for their onstage spirit but unfulfilled high hopes. Frontman Steve Hawkins was previously with Loughborough based MEAN ARENA and his partners in crime lay claim to a wealth of previous engagements, notably guitarist John Antcliffe who had spent spells with ELECTRIC SAVAGE and BLITZKRIEG.

The band had been created during 1981 by guitarists Ian Jones, another erstwhile BLITZKRIEG man, and John Antcliffe, drummer Chris Green and singer John Boyer. Bassist Nic Wastell, previously of ROUGH JUSTICE, completed the line-up. A demo was recorded, which featured Wastell on lead vocals, after which both Boyer and Jones took their leave. The remaining trio cut another demo in Christmas 1981. The following year Steve Hawkins enrolled as frontman.

CHROME MOLLY signed to Stoke on Trent based Bullet Records for their first single, 'You Said' / 'When The Lights Go Down' / 'One At A Time' produced by Graham Bradshaw at Q Studio in Leicester, in 1983. The single fared well, being voted 'Single of the week' in 'Kerrang' magazine and peaking at no. 6 on the UK Heavy Metal charts. The band also added ex-ALIEN member Chris O 'Shaugnessy on second guitar, but soon dispensed with his services.

In July 1984 CHROME MOLLY recruited ex-CHINA ROGUE and ROUGH JUSTICE drummer Mark Godfrey to replace original sticksman Chris Green. Notable support slots in London included opening for TREDEGAR and GRAND SLAM. January 1985 saw the group recording a BBC session at Maida Vale studio, this set being broadcast on Radio One in February. Further London guest spots at the Marquee, to ROGUE MALE and TYGERS OF PAN TANG, secured a deal with Powerstation Records. The band was quick to build up a healthy local following, becoming a regular fixture at the Princess Charlotte venue, backed up by successive independent releases and undoubted enthusiasm which culminated in a much touted 'Best Of British' co headlining tour with BABY TUCKOO. The band pulled off another coup by filling in dates on OZZY OSBOURNE's 1986 UK tour after main support RATT were unable to fulfil the entire tour.

However, despite their hard work, CHROME MOLLY failed to break into the big league - even with the valuable backing lent by signing with IRS Records. Although another attempt to crack the big time was made with the single release of a SQUEEZE cover, 'Take Me I'm Yours', which even featured original SQUEEZE man Jools Holland on piano, apart some interesting press CHROME MOLLY seemed incapable of translating this interest into hard sales.

An American single, 'Thanks For The Angst', remixed by DOKKEN's DON DOKKEN, received some radio airplay. CHROME MOLLY also recorded a track written by Jim Lea and Noddy Holder of SLADE entitled 'Shooting Me Down' but the band were unable to capitalise on it and splits in the ranks began to occur. Antcliffe left in a rather disillusioned state, later joining another Leicester act POWER FLOWER and Tim Read took over guitar. However, Antcliffe managed to lay down all the guitars for the 'Angst' album before decamping. Ex-BABY TUCKOO and GEDDES AXE man Andy Barrott was later to join the ranks as guitarist.

Opening for ALICE COOPER on his British 'Raise Your Fist And Yell' tour, CHROME MOLLY found their performances unappreciated by a largely indifferent audience, the very people the band needed to make further inroads into the British Rock market.

Finally losing their IRS deal, CHROME MOLLY subsequently signed to indie Music For Nations who released the 'Slaphead' record, an album which received worthy reviews providing more fuel for the band's aspirations, but Andy Barrott felt the desire to move on, departing upon it's release to form SWAMPWALK.

CHROME MOLLY eventually split, reforming under the name of BULLDOG in an endeavour to achieve an American deal, but a trip to New York with a new demo proved fruitless. Upon returning Nik Wastell found a new career booking bands at Leicester Polytechnic. Ex-guitarist Tim Read later founded BITE and in 2005 would be ensconced in tribute band ALCATRAZ. Early 2006 saw Read joining the veteran Stoke on Trent outfit DEMON.

In a surprise move, CHROME MOLLY reunited for the 2009 'Wacken Open Air' festival in Germany. The band comprised Steve Hawkins, Nik Wastell, John Antcliffe and former BLADERUNNER drummer Greg Ellis.

Early guitar player Ian Jones passed away on 10th August 2009 after a long illness.

Garry Sharpe-Young

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