Ploog - the only image of a band out of time
Ploog - the only known image of a band out of time

First, I must clarify, Ploog never got to play the Wild Hare Club because they came and went about three decades before the WHC burst into life but they would have if they could have. A band out of time, Ploog doesn’t really have a home even in the sprawling, spiraling mass of ones and zeros that makes up the internet and so, as someone who always loves an outlier, I have created one for them. The band counted among their number two friends of the WHC, Steven Appleby and Pete Lawrence.

Here is what Pete has to say about the group:

“Ploog was the third band I played drums for as a teenager in Leamington and I was a member for just over a year. They tried their hardest to stop me going to University and to join them in a serious assault on the music business, but in the end common sense prevailed. I had a great time playing with them and in particular remember constant rehearsals over that hot summer of 76 in a tiny back room in the terraced house they all lived in in unfashionable Granville Street. Nick and Colin were the main songwriters but Steven Appleby was very much in evidence behind the keyboards, lending something of an art school flavour to proceedings. It was all very English and at times a little twee, but fun too and the band could certainly rock when they wanted to. The band had their own language too and I suspect much of this came from Steven. Ploog (the band name) meant 'please' and I think 'thank you' was something like 'Urdu', but I may be wrong. Our high point was a gig in Leamington's prestigious Spa Centre but half-way through our set, we were turfed-off stage by the promoter's Dad, so that the disco could come back on. It was civil war over Hot Chocolate. We also made occasional breakouts into the promised land of downtown Birmingham, on the first occasion literally playing to one man and his dog at Digbeth's Barrel Organ. It didn’t get much better from there, so we decided to concentrate on our Leamington home base. In retrospect, we were men out of time, caught in a cleft stick between the era of Gentle Giant and The Sex Pistols demolition of the rock firmament.”

Neither Steven nor Pete has really told me much about how Ploog sounded and I suspect there are no recordings, though I would love to hear them if they exist or indeed hear any anecdotes relating to the band. In the meantime, I am happy to imagine them in the cleft stick performing some kind of musical alchemy as a kind of Gentle Pistols or perhaps as Sex Giants…Now there’s a thought.

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