Leaving Normal: Darren “Wiz” Brown
This one goes to those who were there in the late 80s, the days of yore way before Nirvana broke into the mainstream and brought the type of music we love into glossy MTV-Disneyland.
One of the few bands which grew out of the mid-80s UK punk scene (Senseless Things, Snuff, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, HDQ, Exit Condition etc.), Mega City Four (like the others mentioned) rejected the UK82 or Oi! or grindcore/crust punk-ness of England for a more American post-punk outlook; taking melodic and earthy lessons from Husker Du, The Replacements, Redd Kross and loads of power-pop.
Too adventurous and capable to be stuck in the 3-chords punk rock rut, they grew to become of the most enjoyable melodic UK indie-rock bands; going from DIY to a Polygram subsidiary (Big Life Records) and hitting the lower rung of the UK charts.
Loads of my friends in the early 90s Central Market gang loved Mega City Four, but not many of us knew that singer Wiz went on to play with the Doughboys (Canada) and later Serpico, another great band existing in the late 90s UK wasteland, putting out one album under Boss Tunage Records.
And I bet not many of them knew that the Wiz is dead. The man suddenly died on December 6th last year, apparently due to a blood clot on the brains. He was 44.
special page for Wiz: furtive-mts.com