In 1982 in Manchester’s Hulme district The Inca Babies were formed by guitarist/song-writer Harry Stafford and bassist Bill Marten, recuiting singer Julian Woropay and Alan Brown on drums to complete the line-up.
The Inca Babies came up with their own sound – a raunchy Death Ray twang from a punk-trash, Americana perspective. Link Wray, The Cramps, The Gun Club and The Birthday Party were the spirit guidance, and a big influence. Musicologist C.P Lee in his book on the Manchester music scene called them the ‘Hulme Cramps’.
Radio 1 DJ John Peel and his producer John Walters took one listen to their debut single The Interior (1983) and offered them a session on the spot. It was to be the first of four they did for Radio 1 between 1984-86, with Alan Brown playing drums on the first Peel session in January 1984.
Alan Brown left the band in 1984 to focus on his singing and bass-playing in bIG*fLAME. With singles regularly in the Indie single chart and a top 5 indie album, Rumble, Inca Babies soon began to find an audience abroad. Tours of Mainland Europe included Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Austria and all of Scandinavia.Three further albums (This Train, Opium Den and Evil Hour) and six more singles were released in the period up to 1988,with guitarist Harry Stafford taking over on vocals.
All releases up to 1988 are analysed in great detail here on the Isolation website, and conclude the first incarnation of Inca Babies 1982 – 1988.
The second coming of a reformed Inca Babies followed the release of the retrospective “best of” CD Plutonium in 2006 (Alan Brown features on The Interior as well as the Peel session versions of Grunt Cadillac Hotel and Big Jugular), with GoldBlade drummer Rob Haynes joining core members Harry Stafford and Bill Marten to tour and record new songs.
Following the untimely death of Bill Marten in 2008, Vince Hunt (A Witness, Pure Sound) joined on bass, with Inca Babies continuing to release further albums and singles and performing live across the UK, Italy, Poland, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Russia, the USA and Greece.
Since 2014, Harry Stafford has released albums and performed in his own right as a solo artist:
In 2020, Inca Babies released a limited 10” edition of the live recording of the Hacienda 1984 gig, appropriately dedicated to the memory of Bill Marten (1960 – 2008), who was the first person Alan Brown met when he moved to Manchester in 1979. They shared a flat before both moving to Hulme and developing their musical careers further...
For further information on Inca Babies and Harry Stafford, and to buy their products, visit these links: