In 1978 a group of individuals from local bands inspired by the DIY ethic of punk started their own record label. They were Richard Holgarth and Billy Meadows from The Gangsters, Kevin Jones and Shane Roe from The Sods with Colin Babb who did the accounts.

STORTBEAT began life in 1978 with a £1000 overdraft from a bank. The first release was "Record Company"/"Harlow Town" by The Gangsters. It got good reviews and was played by John Peel on his Radio 1 show. The main venues in the area were The Triad in Stortford and The Square in Harlow. In a couple of months the initial pressing had sold out which enabled more releases to be made. The Harlow Playhouse bar on Saturdays became Stortbeats central meeting point.

Gordon Wilkins and Pete Lawrence later compiled a collection of Stortbeat recordings for HandSignal records.

Stortbeat group photo taken outside Harlow Town Hall


Stortbeat. A Musical Collective. Anniversary CD cover
Stortbeats first release
The Gangsters




The Gangsters : 45 Record company/Harlow Town  No sleeve

The Gangsters : Beat 2 LP , The Gangsters p/s

The Gangsters : 45 Beat 3 , Best Friend/Dub Version p/s

The Rabbits : 45 Kitchen Parties/Tonight p/s

The Sods : Beat 5 , 45 No Pictures/Plaything p/s

Deadringer : Beat 6 , 45 Breakout/Latin Hoochie coo p/s

The Spelling Missteaks : Beat 7 , 45 Popstar/Mirrors/Rubber Duck/Urge p/s

The Licks : Beat 8 , 45 1970s have been made in Hong Kong/System Rejects/Hitler’s Still a nazi  p/s



Newtown Neurotics  : Now 1, 45 Hypocrite/You Said No 1979 p/s

The Arabs  : Now 2 , 45 , Sean and Henry?/Sod It 1979 p/s

Spermicide : Now 3 , 45 , Femme Prothese/Belgique  1980 p/s

Newtown Neurotics : Now 4 , 45 ,When The Oil Runs Out/Oh No! 1980 p/s

Newtown Neurotics : Now 6 , 45 Suzi is a heart breaker/Fools Now T6 12 inch with additional track When I Need You 1984 p/s


Phasing out capitalism Now Cass 1 – 1981

Pissed as a Newt – Newtown Neurotics – Now Cass 2 – 1982

Early Warning – No Warning - Now Cass 3 - 1982



Pressure Stops : 45, Crash wanderer/Shirts p/s 1980


Pressure Stops : 45, Bedsitter/Control/Day in the life p/s 1981


Pre-Set : 45, Better/So Superstitious   No sleeve  1981


Various Artists Cassette : play 4 Music For Shopping Precincts. Includes tracks by : Roger Milton/The Firm/Easy Action/Urban Decay 1981.


Various Artists Cassette : Play 5 , Muscle Man Cover 1982. Includes tracks by : Innervision/Easy action/ Batrachophrnoboocosmachia/The Rabbits .

Stortbeat Records

No Wonder Records

Airplay Records

Trendy Records

Mirror Co. and others in Collaboration with Handsignal Recordings.

A compilation double cd was released in 2004 and featured all the recordings made for Stortbeat plus some extra live tracks that were found.

If you search hard enough you can still find copies for sale through places like e bay.

They are as rare as dodo droppings and only 1000 were ever made.



Easy Action
Easy Action live
Epileptics live
Epileptics live
Gangsters Bill and Martin
Gangster Richard Holgarth
Neurotic Steve Drewett
Neurotics Colin and Tiggy at Triad
Pete The Meat And The Boys
Richard Holgarth (back) and Pete Brown
Pressure Stops
Pressure Stops
The Rabbits
Dave Brown & Ben Evans. Spelling Missteaks
The Sods
Urban Decay with Colin Dredd (back)


The Epileptics
The Epileptics
The Licks
Easy Action
Stortbeat gig
The Epileptics cover
The Firm
Pete and Bill from The Gangsters
Bill Gangster
Steve teaches Pete to smoke
The Groove
Mirror Co cover
Steve Drewett live at The Triad
The Neurotics at The Railway
The Rabbits cover
The Rabbits cover
The Rage
The Spelling Missteaks cover
The Sods
The Rabbits Declan Barron