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Thee Mighty Caesars

Thee Mighty Caesars were fronted by Billy Childish (b. William Charlie Hamper, 13 December 1958, Chatham, Kent, England), previously of the Pop Rivets and (Thee) Milkshakes. His new venture subscribed to the ethos that music should be immediate and unpolished. Each of their releases boasted a rough and ready sound akin to U.S. garage bands and noted guitarist Link Wray, dubbed "the Medway Sound" after a river in Kent. Thee Mighty Caesars was recorded with the aid of the Prisoners (minus Mickey Hampshire) and, unsurprisingly, it sounded similar to Childish's previous venture. Beware the Ides of March was marginally more refined, a trend continued on Thee Caesars of Trash and Acropolis Now, which featured members of girl-group the Delmonas in support. The deceptively titled Live in Rome mixed previously issued tracks with cover versions of songs by the Damned, Sex Pistols and Chuck Berry, with fake crowd noises dubbed on top. Wiseblood reprised the rough and ready sound of Thee Mighty Caesars, suggesting that Childish felt unhappy with his band's increasingly focused (in his terms) sound. The album was originally issued on Ambassador Records, a label owned by Wreckless Eric, but it was later reissued on Childish's own outlet, Hangman Records. (Hangman also issued his various spin-off projects, including numerous solo albums, one-off recordings and collaborations with Medway poet Sexton Ming.) Thee Mighty Caesars' career was suspended following the rumbustious John Lennon's Corpse Revisited, although Childish insisted the break was temporary until the members found time to work together again. However, Thee Mighty Caesars members Bruce Brand and John Agnew were present in his next project, Thee Headcoats. By 1995, Childish had retired from the music business and started a new career as a painter, but not before he played a farewell gig in London backed by all his old bands. Within three years he was back recording with Thee Headcoats.
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