The Lords of the New Church

The Lords of the New Church
Genres Gothic rock, post-punk, new wave, glam punk, punk rock, glam rock, hard rock, ska
Years active 1982–1989, 2002, 2003–2007
Labels I.R.S. Records, Illegal Records, Track Records
Associated acts The Dead Boys, The Damned, Sham 69, The Barracudas, Kill City Dragons, Shooting Gallery
Past members Stiv Bators
Adam Becvare
Brian James
Dave Tregunna
Nick Turner
Danny Fury
Alistair Ward

The Lords of the New Church was an English/American gothic rock supergroup with a line-up consisting of four musicians from 1970s punk bands. Launched in 1982, the band had moderate chart success prior to their dissolution in 1989.


Formed in 1982, the band comprised the punk pioneers Stiv Bators (The Dead Boys), Brian James (The Damned), Dave Tregunna (Sham 69) and Nick Turner (The Barracudas).[1][2] The band recorded three studio albums and one live album before Bators ended the band onstage after a concert on 2 May 1989, at the London Astoria.[3] During this time, they underwent several line-up changes, with a second guitarist Alistair Ward joining and with Tregunna departing, to be briefly replaced by Grant Fleming, who had been road manager of Sham 69.

More melodic and slickly produced than most punk, their music both reached a broader audience than that of many bands in the genre and alienated hardcore punk fans.[2] The band presented a stylized tribal identity around their appearance and their music that fans embraced: the writer Dave Thompson asserts this represented "the first time since the Sex Pistols' Bromley Contingent fanbase [that] a band had succeeded in grafting its own identity onto its audience without first paying obeisance to the gods of highstreet fashion.[3] Their stage antics became notorious early in their career, with Bators stunts on one occasion reportedly resulting in his clinical death for several minutes.[2]

The band experienced moderate chart success, with their debut album peaking at #3 on the UK Indie Chart, 1984's Method to Our Madness hitting 156 in the US, and the 1985 Killer Lords compilation reaching #22 on the UK Indie Chart. Charting singles included "New Church" (#34 UK Indie), "Open Your Eyes" (#7 UK Indie; #27 Mainstream Rock) and a cover of Madonna's "Like a Virgin" (#22 UK Indie), but the success of "Dance With Me" - a song that according to Dave Thompson's Alternative Rock came "close to a hit" - was hampered when the video directed by Derek Jarman was pulled from MTV's rotation for concerns about child pornography.[2][3] The song was later covered by Nouvelle Vague.

Bators died after being struck by a car in Paris in 1990.[3]

The band was re-established in 2003 when vocalist Adam Becvare (The Lustkillers) joined original members James and Tregunna. This configuration of the band produced the album Hang On.[4]

Original members


Studio albums

Live albums

Compilation albums


Year Song U.S. Canada Album
1982 "New Church" The Lords of the New Church
"Open Your Eyes" 34[5]
"Russian Roulette"
1983 "Live for Today" 91 Is Nothing Sacred?
"Dance with Me" 85
1984 "M[urder] Style" 97 The Method to Our Madness
1985 "Like a Virgin" Killer Lords
1987 "Dance with Me (Re-Recorded)"
1989 "Making Time"


  1. Thompson, Dave (1 November 2000). Alternative Rock. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 466. ISBN 978-0-87930-607-6. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Cassel, Bill. "The Lords of the New Church". Allmusic. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Thompson (2000), p. 467.
  4. Robbins, Ira. "Lords of the New Church". Trouser Press. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  5. "Top Singles - Volume 37, No. 11, October 30, 1982". RPM. Archived at Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 3 November 2009.
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