Alex Griffin (Ned’s Atomic Dustbin)

Ned's_Atomic_Dustbin-God_FodderAlex Griffin the Bass Player and founding member of  Ned’s Atomic Dustbin was born 29 August 1971. Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, were formed in 1988 by lead singer John Penney while he was still at sixth form college in November 1987.The band took their name from an episode of The Goon Show. The band were unusual for using two bass players in their lineup: Alex Griffin played melody lines high up on one bass, and Mat Cheslin played the regular bass lines on the other. This gave the band a tense and highly driven sub-hardcore sound featuring distorted effects-laden guitar and energetic drums. The band was formed while at sixth form college and they recorded their first album while some of the members were still teenagers. This led to a strong teenage fanbase with a reputation for enjoying crowd surfing and moshing at their gigs. The band were also noted (and occasionally ridiculed) for their early image which consisted of uniformly crimped hair and a predilection for sporting shorts and band/skateboard T-shirt. Alex Griffin’s bass lines were instantly recognisable, as he played the bass guitar as if it were a lead instrument, similar to Peter Hook from New Order.

In the early 1990s they had several hit singles, including “Happy”, “Kill Your Television” and “Not Sleeping Around”. Together they released three successful albums (God Fodder, Are You Normal? and Brainbloodvolume. The Neds” (as their fans referred to them) were also well known for their own distinctive T-shirt designs, reportedly producing over 86 different designs within three years (1987–1990). Alex left when The band split up in 1995 after record company problems.

Penney subsequently formed a new band, Groundswell, initially with former Ned’s Atomic Dustbin guitarist Rat. The band released a few singles, and played some successful shows, but did not have much commercial success. After Groundswell split he completed a degree course, and now works as Media officer for Wolverhampton Civic Hall, while lecturing part-time and writing a weekly column titled ‘Up Penneyscope’ for local newspaper The Express & Star. In 2000 he reformed Ned’s Atomic Dustbin (with an altered line up including Andy King (bass) and Martin Warlow (guitar) for occasional gigs. The band completed a five date tour in 2004, and Penney continued to play occasional gigs with the band.

Griffin meanwhile completed a degree and now lectures on the music business to students. He also formed a computer based electronic music project called Tickle, mostly for his own enjoyment. In 2000, Griffin partook in the Ned’s Atomic Dustbin reunion, and continues to play occasional gigs with the band. In June 2006, they released their first single in eleven years, entitled “Hibernation”. On 12 May 2008, the band announced that the original line-up would be performing live together for the first time since 1995, on 6 December 2008 at the Astoria in London. The band have now reformed and play regular shows, most recently a sell out show at the 2200 capacity Manchester Academy with support from indie heritage acts, the Wedding Present and The Chameleons. Ned’s will also headline the Indie Daze event at the 3200 capacity London Forum on September 13th 2014.

NED’S ATOMIC DUSTBIN LIVE AT BRIXTON ACADEMY 

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