Doctor and the Medics

Doctor and the Medics is a British glam rock band formed in London in 1981.[1] The group was most successful during the 1980s and is best known for their cover of Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in the Sky" which reached No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart.[2] The band currently performs with a newer and established line-up. As well as previously being classed a tribute act to various artists, they are including many of their original songs in their live set. The group's musical style includes neo-psychedelia, glam rock, new wave and pop rock.[3][4][5][6]

Doctor and the Medics
Doctor and the Medics in 1986
Background information
OriginLondon, England
Years active1981–present
MembersThe Doctor
Melissa Weekes
Adrian Hill
Dan Angelow
Matthew Angelow
Jon Randle
Maria Verhelst-Hopkins
Past membersSteve McGuire
Richard Searle
Andrew McLachlan
Steve "Vom" Ritchie
Wendi Anadin
Colette Anadin
Carl Axon
James Hartley


The Doctor (Clive Jackson, born 7 July 1961 in Knotty Ash, Liverpool),[7] a former London-based DJ, formed the group in 1981 with guitarist Steve McGuire, drummer Vom (aka Steve Ritchie), and bassist Richard Searle and female dancers and singers The Anadin Brothers.[1] The group adopted a look inspired by both 1960s psychedelia and kabuki make-up similar to that of Kiss.

Their first single was "The Druids Are Here" which was released on Whaam Records in 1982.[8] They released no further records until 1985, although a four track EP recorded live at Alice in Wonderland, a Soho nightclub where The Doctor was house DJ, was available direct from the band. The band's female backing singers, known as The Anadin Brothers, were originally three in number, but reduced to two members - Wendi West and Colette Appleby.[8]

In 1985, they signed to IRS Records and released "Happy but Twisted", a five track 12" EP including a cover of Hawkwind's "Silver Machine".[9] This reached number 2 on the indie charts.[10] It was followed by "The Miracle of the Age", produced by Andy Partridge of XTC.[11] Around this time the band performed a concert in a television studio in Limehouse, London was recorded for television broadcast, although it was not shown at the time. At this concert the line-up was augmented by Roman Jugg of The Damned on keyboards and second guitar.

In 1986 the band had an international hit with their next single, a cover of Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in the Sky". The single reached number one in the UK.[12] Their subsequent singles were less successful; "Burn" and "Waterloo" (the latter of which was a cover of the ABBA hit, with Roy Wood on saxophone, backing vocals and in the video). "Burn" reached number 29 in the UK Singles Chart and "Waterloo" reached number 45.[8] The band released their final studio album Instant Heaven, in 1996 on their own 'Madman' record label.[1]

In the early 2000s, the band's current line-up appeared on retro-themed British TV shows such as ITV1's Hit Me Baby One More Time, and a Top of the Pops Christmas special celebrating 50 years of the UK Singles Chart. In June 2006, the band appeared, with a new line-up, on Channel 4's Bring Back One Hit Wonders.[13] Around this time they released an EP called Timewarped.[14] They continue to perform live.[7]


1981 line-up

  • The Doctor (vocals)
  • Steve McGuire (guitar)
  • Richard Searle (bass)
  • Andrew McLachlan (drums)

1986 line-up

  • The Doctor (vocals)
  • Steve McGuire (guitar)
  • Richard Searle (bass)
  • Steve "Vom" Ritchie (drums)
  • Wendi Anadin (vocals)
  • Colette Anadin (vocals)
  • Richard Searle left in 1990 shortly after Vom Ritchie departed. Gareth Thomas replaced Searle in 1990. Searle went on to form the acid jazz band Corduroy, with former members of Sire Records act Boys Wonder.
  • Since leaving the Medics, drummer Ritchie has played with Last of the Teenage Idols, Stiv Bators, B-Bang Cider, The Boys, Wet Dog and now plays with Die Toten Hosen.

2003 reunion line-up

  • The Doctor (vocals)
  • Adrian Hill (drums)
  • Carl Axon (The Big Bopper) (lead guitar, backing vocals)
  • James Hartley (guitar)
  • Jon Randle (bass)
  • Melissa Weekes (backing vocals)
  • Colette Anadin (backing vocals)
  • Carl Axon left to pursue business interests.
  • Paul Nevin (performance artist)

Current line-up

  • The Doctor (vocals)
  • Adrian Hill (drums)
  • Dan Angelow (guitar)
  • Jon Randle (bass)
  • Melissa Weekes (vocals)
  • Matthew Angelow (guitar/performance artist)
  • Maria Verhelst-Hopkins (vocals/performance artist)



7" singles

  • "The Druids Are Here" / "The Goats Are Trying to Kill Me" (1982), Whaam
  • "The Miracle of the Age" / "I Don't Want to Be Alone with You Tonight" (1985), IRS
  • "Spirit in the Sky" / "Laughing at the Pieces" (1986), IRS - UK No. 1,[12] US No. 69
  • "Burn" / "Captain Frazer" (1986), IRS - UK No. 29[12]
  • "Waterloo" / "Damaged Brains" (1986), IRS - UK No. 45 (featuring Roy Wood)[12]
  • "More" / "Bad Men's Pennies" (1987), IRS
  • "Burning Love" / "Waterloo" (1987), IRS (U.S. issue)
  • "Drive, He Said" / "Ride the Beetle" (Live) (1988), IRS
  • "Hi Ho Silver Lining (Prescription Mix)" / "Black & Blue" (1990), Off the Wall Records
  • "Black & Blue" (1991), Plastic Surgery[15]
  • "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" (2015)

12" singles

  • "The Miracle of the Age" / "I Don't Want to Be Alone with You Tonight (Bedtime Mix)" / "Secrets of a Baby's Mind" (1985), IRS
  • "Spirit in the Sky" / "Laughing at the Pieces" (Studio Version) / "Love, Peace, and Bananas" (Live) / "Happy But Twisted" (Live) / "Fried Egg Bad Monday" (Live) / "Good Golly Miss Molly" (Live) (1986), IRS
  • "Burn" / "Captain Frazer" / "Love, Peace, and Bananas" (Studio Version) / Paranoid (Live) (1986), IRS
  • "Waterloo" / "Stare Crazy" / "Damaged Brains" / "Nothing" (1986), IRS
  • "More" / "More Again" / "Bad Men's Pennies" / "Pretty Little Henry" (1987), IRS
  • "Drive He Said… (Extended Mix)" / "Medics Megahits Megamix" / "Drive He Said…" / "Ride the Beetle" (Live) (1988), IRS
  • "Hi Ho Silver Lining (Pre-Med Mix)" / "Hi Ho Silver Lining (Prescription Mix)" / "Black and Blue" (1990), Off the Wall Records


  • Happy But Twisted EP (1985), Illegal - UK Indie No. 2
    • (Happy Side:"Happy But Twisted"/"Round and Round"/"Auntie Evil's Dormitory")
    • (Twisted Side:"Mole Catcher" / "Silver Machine")
  • Two Pieces of Cloth Carefully Stitched Together (1987), Illegal - UK Indie No. 34
    • (Before Side: "Sound of Chains" / "Perfect World")
    • (After Side: "Silver King" / "Age of Gold")
  • Timewarped (2006) – 6-track covers EP

Other appearances

  • Phantasmagoria (album) - The Damned (1985), MCA Records
  • Live at the Alice & Wonderland: A Pretty Smart Way to Catch a Lobster (1986), Flicknife Records (re-issued by Madman for CD)
    • (features the band as 'Gwyllym & the Raspberry Flavoured Cat' performing "These Boots Are Made for Walking" (Live) and "Gloria" (Live) and some DJ links by The Doctor)
  • "Let It Be" / "Let It Be (The Gospel Jam Mix)" - Ferry Aid (1987), The Sun
    • (12" version: "Let It Be" / "Let It Be (Mega Message Mix)", contains a message from The Doctor and the Anadin Brothers)

See also


  1. Sutton, Michael. "Doctor & The Medics Biography". Macrovision Corporation. Retrieved 26 March 2008.
  2. "All The Number 1 Singles". Official Charts Company. 30 January 2015.
  3. Doctor & the Medics at AllMusic
  4. Romanowski, Patricia (1995). The New Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll. Fireside. p. xix (19). ISBN 978-0684810447.
  5. Abrahams, Ian (2004). Hawkwind: Sonic Assassins. SAF Publishing Ltd. p. 168. ISBN 978-0946719693.
  6. Colin Larkin (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Eighties Music. Virgin. p. 156. ISBN 978-0-7535-0159-7.
  7. "How the lead singer of Doctor and the Medics became a pillar of a small Welsh community". Walesonline. 8 December 2011. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  8. Strong, Martin C. (1999). The Great Alternative & Indie Discography. Canongate. ISBN 0-86241-913-1.
  9. "Doctor & The Medics – Happy But Twisted (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 5 February 2013.
  10. Lazell, Barry (1997). Indie Hits 1980–1999. Cherry Red Books. ISBN 0-9517206-9-4.
  11. "Doctor & The Medics – The Miracle of the Age (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 5 February 2013.
  12. Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 162. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  13. "Doctor And The Medics Spirit In The Sky". Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  14. "Timewarped – Doctor and the Medics". Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  15. "Doctor & The Medics Discography at Discogs". Retrieved 5 February 2013.
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