The Toilets – (Band)

After seeing the Sex Pistols in Chester in 1976 it was a life changing experience for Mike Peters who put together The Toilets in 1977 as his first band. The idea for the band came about as part of the feel of the time with the greyness of the time, lots of unemployment and music, particularly Punk gave people a way out to express themselves – Mike Peters, Big Night In 3rd July 2021

The band line up was Mike Peters (aka WC Smith) (guitar), Glyn Crossley (aka Steve Shock) (bass), Nigel Buckle (Des Troy) (drums), Richard “O’Malley” Jones (Bo Larks) (vocals). Original singer Gaz Hughes didn’t show up for rehearsals

The Toilets played their 1st gig at the Palace Hotel in Rhyl opening with Nothing To Do which was the first song Mike wrote, coming back one night from the Bistro, the idea for the song came into his head as he walked across the harbour bridge

I remember the night before the first Toilet gigs in Rhyl North Wales at The Palace Hotel, we’d just met Dave Sharp, he’d just come home from the navy from a trip and will he’d been at sea he had not heard about the Sex Pistols or The Clash or The Damned or any of that as he’s been in some Southern American port with the merchant navy, he turned up at our little rehearsal studio in Rhyl and it was there he came in to see this new band he’d heard about from his friend Nigel, called The Toilets, Nigel was playing with them even though he was a hippy at the time and he brought him along to the rehearsal room where he saw us in all our glory. Dave saw what we were up to and he went straight back out of the door and went to the Army & Navy shop in Rhyl and he kitted himself out in all this finest combat fatigues he could find, went to the haberdashery place and got loads of safety pins and stick them all over the place and he came back as a Punk rocker. 5 minutes it took and he actually started his own band not long after he saw the Toilets called Chuck Burial and The Embalmed. But his claim to fame he actually helped me get the very first Toilets gig ever, he went out on the Friday night to The Palace for a few beers and coerced the manager into letting this new Punk rock band play on the Saturday night downstairs and I remember lieing in my little bedroom up Kimnel Bay at the time where I lived, I remember hearing in the night these stones hitting the window pane, which is one of the lines in the song, I remember stones on the windowpane. What was that and I looked down in the garden and I could see this little red light in the garden. I looked out through the window and I could see it was actually Dave Sharp dragging on his fag. “Mike, I got you a gig in The Palace tomorrow night, see you there”. And he went off into the night and I didn’t believe him at first, when we got down the next morning we literally did have a gig in The Palace and we just, we hired this PA company from Rhyl and they said to us before the gig, they said we got these smoke bombs and pyrotechnics, that sounds great, so on the first number we let off all these smoke bombs and just blew up like an explosion and filled the whole club with smoke and half the punters choking to death. But it was brilliant, it wall all flashing white lights and it was a 100 mile an hour and this is the first song we played – This is called Nothing To DoMike Peters – Alarmstock, NEWI Theatre Stage, Wrexham, Wales 29/08/2004

The Toilets built up large support in North Wales and supported The Slits, The Clash and Buzzcocks with songs such as Alarm Alarm, James Bond, Nothing To Do, Office Jobs, Lies Lies Lies and Social Security

Taken from Bombsite Fanzine Issue 5 1977Website
Few bands left a more distinct mark on the Welsh rock experience than Mike Peters band The Alarm, but few will remember Mike’s punk band The Toilets. Prompted to form a band after watching the Sex Pistols play at Quantways in Chester during October 1976. The band formed in Rhyl during 1977 with Mike Peters, Glyn Crossley, O’Malley and Nigel Twist.
Some of the group members worked as bank clerks in Chester. Even here Mike Peters was a nice bloke, and would always greet people with optimism’s and a smile. But the group members all embraced the revolutionary, equal-opportunity and controversial punk image at the weekend. Mike’s determination and vision was passionate, as he would discuss the day when his band would be recognized as a Welsh rock band. Interestingly, they were followed around from gig to gig by the most loyal, hardest punks in the area, “The Buckley Contingent”. Merchant seamen, dockers and miners. These guys were not to be messed with.
We first met Mike Peters in late Spring 1977. Mark, Smasher Dean, my girlfriend and myself were in a bar on the promenade in Rhyl. Mike Peters sitting at the bar talking with some locals. Soon after arriving the whole place exploded in an old western style bar fight after someone mouthed off. The owner tried to break it up and tried to lock the door. We pushed our way out and legged it. On the way back I asked Alg “what did the guy say”, he said “I don’t know I saw his lips move so I whaled on him”. About a week later, we met Mike at Eric’s, unaware that it was him in the bar. He explained that the group of guys we had worked over, continually cause trouble with the local punks. And the word around town was they had now got what they had asked for. No known recordings of the Toilets exist today, although Mike Peters did have a 1977 recording from the Buzzcock’s Eric’s gig. Regrettably, the recording was stolen from his car in 1980.
Singer, lyricist and guitarist Mike Peters, is now a globally recognized figure of tremendous musical influence, with different variations of the Alarm. But his original band The Toilets were a short lived punk marvel, featuring energetic Clash inspired punk anthems. As Eric’s regulars the band performed support for the Clash on October 22nd 1977 and The Buzzcock’s and The Fall on November 18th 1977. Sex Pistols, Paul Cook and Steve Jones were present for the November 18th gig.
Our band “Why Control ” supported “The Toilets” for a few different gigs. For one gig they let us use their equipment. This was unheard of with bands back then, since everyone was getting robbed. Mike’s talent, honesty and passion resonates with me today. The Toilets disbanded after playing their last gig at the 1520 Club in Rhyl on Friday January 27th 1978

Gig list
1977 – The Bee Hotel, Rhyl, Wales
15th September 1977 – The Stables, St Asaph, Wales – Supporting The Slits
23rd September 1977 – Kings Discotheque, Rhyl, Wales

30th September 1977 – The Palace Hotel, Rhyl, Wales
22nd October 1977 – Eric’s, Liverpool. England – Lunchtime show with Shattered Dolls
22nd October 1977 – Eric’s, Liverpool. England – Evening show supporting The Clash on the Out of Control Tour. Also on the bill Richard Hell & The Void-oids, The Lous and Penetration

18th November 1977 – Eric’s, Liverpool. England – Supporting The Buzzcocks on the Coming Your Way tour. The Fall also supported

27th January 1978 – 1520 Club, Rhyl, Wales

The Toilets split up in 1978 playing their last show at the 1520 Club in Rhyl on 27th January
The set-list for that show was as follows:

  1. Ice Cream And Rock
  2. Breakdown (Buzzcocks cover)
  3. Lies Lies Lies
  4. Alarm Alarm
  5. Sweets
  6. Social Security
  7. James Bond
  8. News At 10
  9. You
  10. No Truth
  11. Anarchy In The UK (Sex Pistols cover)
  12. Big In Japan (Big In Japan cover)
  13. Nothing To do
  14. Media Girl
  15. Hear Me Out
  16. My Generation (Who cover)

The Alarm would take their name from The Toilets song Alarm Alarm

The Toilets were re-created in 1992 by Mike for a one-off performance at the first MPO Gathering weekend. The following set was played at The Swan in Rhyl on Dec. 12, 1992

  1. Nothing To Do
  2. Hear Me Out
  3. Ice Cream And Rock
  4. Breakdown
  5. Sheena Is a Pink Rocker
  6. Anarchy In The UK
  7. Bound For Glory
  8. Mind Games
  9. Rockin’ In The Free World
  10. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door

Many of the Toilets songs were re-recorded for the sound track for the movie “Vinyl” in 2011 and appear on the Vinyl Soundtrack

(Page updated 01/06/2022)

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