Pacing the floor at Punk’s birth in the 70s, splitting up as it was overtaken by Ska and New Romantics in the 80s, and re-forming due to European bootleg interest in their back catalogue in 2002, which resulted in 2 of their songs being included in a compilation album, Bored Teenagers Vol 2, The Zips are determined to make up for lost time. With 5 new CD EPs on their own Tenement Toons label, a download single for Oxfam’s Make Poverty History campaign, The Zips finally released their debut album, Guitars4Hire, Sept 2006 – 27 years after their debut single, The Zips ep, which was a fave of the late John Peel.
2009 Sing Sing Records (Brooklyn) released a 500 copy reissue of the 7”, as did Mad Butcher Records (Germany) in 2022, the same month that an original copy sold for £577 on eBay!
In 2011, The Zips unleashed their 2nd album, 19 Forevva, and on the 10th anniversary, of Joe’s Strummer’s death, the band released a download-only single, Road To Strummerville, with profits to his charity, Strummerville.
A split vinyl album with Berlin-based tour buddies, Erotic Devices, was issued by Clash-City-Records in 2014, ahead of a 3rd tour of Germany.
2015 saw the self-titled, Stepfathers of Punk release an advance copy of their 3rd album, Down With The Zips, to coincide with a further mini-tour of Germany.
2016, the band released a split CD EP with Fire Exit, and played some promo dates together in Belfast & Dublin in November, having played a string of UK dates, that year, including the Nice N Sleazy Festival, and a fifth tour of Germany in May. Meanwhile, the Down With The Zips album was released on download & CD, by CDBaby.com in April, and Jonzip with a pick-up band, The Zips (USA), played a few under-the-radar shows on the East Coast.
2017 The Zips played Rebellion Festival and other dates around the UK, whilst recording tracks for a 4th album, including 7 songs recorded in a studio that was once an office in a former STASI admin block in East Berlin. The recording sessions were squeezed in during a German tour in April, the Joe Strummer Tribute gig in Berlin on 3 June, and Jonzip’s second trip to the States, to play with The Zips (USA). Prior to that, Tarbeach Records (NYC) released a 7” single with The Zips’ Barbara Wire, on one side, and a Jonzip acoustic version of 19 Forevva, on the flip side on 31 March.
2018 was the 40th anniversary of The Zips formation, and a track from The Zips EP, Take Me Down featured in Gary Crowley’s Punk and New Wave compilation album https://www.demonmusicgroup.co.uk/rsd18/
Gig-wise, it was a busy year with the MAYhem Tour 2018, with dates in early May in Germany & Czech Republic, and a second, whistle stop tour of Switzerland, Germany and Austria, later that month, with Erotic Devices. October also saw The Zips in Ireland, and Portugal for three dates, after Jonzip’s solo tour there, the previous year.
2019 saw lots of festival action, with Strummercamp, Rebellion and Morecambe Punk Festival, as well as a headline slot at the Joe Strummer Tribute in Dusseldorf.
A limited edition 7” single, on new German label YeaVolution Records, was released in August at Rebellion Festival, and the long-awaited 4th album, HUH!? followed in October, combining the songs from the Berlin sessions of 2017, with another 3 recorded in Standing Stone Studio, Barrhead, outside Glasgow.
Before that however, one of The Zips EP tracks, Take Me Down, was released on Cherry Red Records, 5 CD compilation, Big Gold Dreams https://www.cherryred.co.uk/product/big-gold-dreams-a-story-of-scottish-independent-music-1977-1989-5cd-boxset
2020’s Lockdown resulted in no live performances, but was spent working on a limited-edition CD of live recordings from ’79 and ’80 on Tenement Toons, along with a booklet containing The Zips story, press and fanzine reviews, photos and posters.
2021 continued to restrict live events, and resulted in several cancellations, but The Zips appeared at Strummercamp Festival in Oldham, and Punk & Disorderly in Lancaster, in August,Clash Fans Against The Right launch, in London, in October.
2022 supported Buzzcocks in March, The Godfathers in April, and a bunch of local gigs followed.
2023 whilst dates are still being arranged, The Zips played Rebellion Festival in Blackpool, and Unity Fest in Corby, prior to supporting Sham69 in Paisley, Krakatoa in Aberdeen and Punktoberfest in Dundee, along with local Glasgow gigs. A split album called, News From Another Side, with Colera (Brazil) & Razor Kids (Portugal) was released by Lisbon label, Different Class Records, in time for Rebellion Festival. Meanwhile, one of the songs on that album, Spirit Of 78, will be included in the documentary film, Resistance Street, produced by Clash Fans Against The Right.
No strangers to local and internet radio, the band also have a reputation for rip-roaring performances, supporting bands like, Buzzcocks, Dr Feelgood, The Rezillos, UK Subs, 999, The Godfathers, Sham69, Chelsea and Subway Sect. This means they are always in demand on the live circuit, both in the UK, and throughout Europe.
4guys3chords2minutebuzzbombs1helluvvanite – guaranteed!
jonzip (lead vox/ rhythm gtr) + phil volume (bass gtr/ vox) + fred-x (lead gtr/ vox) + buddie poor (drums)