Department S evolved from a previous punk/ska combo, Guns For Hire, and featured former Madness drummer John Hasler, Mike Herbage joined them and wrote Guns For Hire’s only single – “I’m Gonna Rough My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend Up Tonight” which emerged on the Korova record label The group then became Department S, with the addition of Eddie Roxy and Stuart Mizon.
They debuted at London’s Rock Garden on 24 September 1980. Their first single, “Is Vic There?”, was released in December 1980. It was produced by former Mott the Hoople members Buffin and Overend Watts, and reached number 23 in the UK charts aided by 3 appearances on Top Of The Pops.
The group recorded a session for the legendary DJ John Peel on 3 December 1980. The tracks laid down were “Is Vic There?”; “Age Concern”; “Ode To Cologne (Stench Of War)”; and “Clap Now”.
Toulouse later worked as a DJ under the name Main T, before recording as a solo artist with a 1985 single “Fickle Public Speaking”. Eddie Roxy had some European success with his band Dream Sequence with a single called “Outside Looking In” and Michael Herbage played with The Purple Hearts.
Their 2010 single “Wonderful Day” featured on a TV commercial and had guest appearances from Marco Perroni and Glen Matlock. In 2013 Mark Taylor stepped down as bass player and was replaced by Ex Public Image Limited/Brian Brain/Cowboys International bass man Pete Jones. 2014 saw them gigging in Amsterdam, Brussels, London and Blackpool to name a few.
2015 saw Phil Thompson and Alex Lutes join on as Mizon and Burnett joined Stranger Know More. 2016 saw the release of a Thompson penned new single WHEN ALL IS SAID AND ALL IS DONE and an album of the same name. Live performances continue to be a major feature of our band