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The Outsiders Biography (77 The Year of Punk & New Wave)

date: Jan 8, 2008



The Outsiders were Wimbledon's official entry into the 1977 UK punk menagerie. The line-up of Adrian Borland (vocals, guitar), Bob Lawrence (bass), and Adrian Janes (aka Jan - drums) had in fact been playing together for a few years before punk took off. Citing the Velvet Underground as their main influence, The Outsiders (name suggested by Janes) was a classic example of an existing band that, through the explosion of punk, managed to elevate themselves to a higher level, thereby securing more gigs and even getting records released.

The band's music is rooted in classic rock and roll, but served with adequate amounts of speed and attitude to fully warrant the use of the punk rock tag. At the time, however, The Outsiders proved to be a fitting name for a band of literate longhairs that in large saw themselves exiled by the punk elite.  Quite uncommonly for the times, The Outsiders’ first release was not a 7”, but an album. Financed in large by Adrian Borland’s parents, the LP “Calling On Youth” was released in 1,000 copies on The Outsiders’ own Raw Edge label in May of 1977 (some of the album’s recordings date back to 1976). The music is produced as well as mixed by the band themselves. And the cover is designed by Adrian Borland himself. The LP has the honour of being the very first DIY-released punk album by a UK group. Musically, it is a sprawling affair with everything from acoustic takes to harder edged punk rock.

The finally in November came the group’s first 7” and The Outsiders transformation into a 100% punk band was now in place. There is no acoustic guitars or extended solos in ear-sight on the “One To Infinity” 7” EP. It caused Sounds to call the record “Nihilistic dispiriting dross”, high praise to any aspiring punk band. This cataclysmically great and underrated EP contains four razor cuts deploying a catchy buzzsaw punk sound in the vein of The Saints. By all factors, this 4-tracker is a vintage 1977 punk record. The songs are “One To Infinity”, “New Uniform”, “Consequences” and “Freeway”. The Outsiders played many a gig at The Roxy, opening up for The Jam and The Vibrators among others. Live, The Outsiders often covered “I’m Waiting For The Man” as well as “Raw Power”, the latter of which Iggy Pop himself showed up and helped with the singing on at one memorable Roxy gig.

1977 Discography:

LP Calling On Youth, Raw Edge ““ RER 001 05/77 (Calling On Youth/Break Free/On The Edge/Hit And Run/Start Over/Weird/I’m Screwed Up/Walking Through A Storm/Terminal Case)

7” One To Infinity EP, Raw Edge ““ RER 002 11/77 (One To Infinity/New Uniform/Consequences/Freeway)


In 1978 following The Outsiders’ second and final album “Close Up”, Bob Lawrence saw himself replaced by Graham Green (alias Graham Bailey - bass). After the band reached splitsville, Adrian Borland, Graham Green and Adrian Janes went on to play in The Sound. Later on Adrian Borland and Graham Green formed Second Layer. Adrian Borland has released solo material, some under the monikers Adrian Borland  The Citizens and Adrian Borland  Wouter Planteijdt. He has also worked with 700 Miles Of Desert, Cassell Steve Lake, Webb, Honolulu Mountain Daffodils, The Witch Trials and White Rose Transmission. Borland also produced The Beautiful Losers, Red Harvest, Dole, Steve Lake, Felt, The Pollen, Into Paradise, 700 Miles Of Desert, The Prudes and The Servants. Borland also used the pseudonym of Joachim Pimento. In 2000 a retrospective Outsiders LP “Vital Hours”, was released on Gift Of Life Records (Germany). It is also available on CD format. “Consequences” later surfaced on the various artists compilation LP “Business Unusual ““ The Other Records Collection” (Cherry Red), available on both yellow and black vinyl. Adrian Borland (RIP) committed suicide in 1999. 

taken from the book '77 The Year of Punk & New Wave by Henrik Bech Poulsen

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