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The Pop Group

The Pop Group are at the source of what came to be known as the Bristol Sound. The Pop Group pioneereda new sound that mixed punk, funk, reggae, and free jazz/noise elements together with a healthy dose of leftwing politics.

This musical legacy would lead in the short term to an explosion of post punk bands in the Bristol area such as Rip Rip and Panic, Maximum Joy, Float Up CP, Glaxo Babies, and Pig Bag; and in the long term to the arrival in the 1990s of Bristol-based dance crossover groups such as Massive Attack, Nenah Cherry, Portishead and Tricky.

The Pop Group formed in mid 1977 and members included Mark Stewart, Bruce Smith, Sean Oliver, John Waddington, David Wright, Bruce Smith, Gareth Sager, and Simon Underwood.

Their first record was produced by Dennis 'Blackbeard' Bovell, founding member of the UK reggae band Matumbi produced the record. Bovell brought dub elements to the Pop Group's sound. Dennis Bovell would also work with other punk and post punk groups such as the Slits as well as producing reaggae artists such as Linton Kwesi Johnson.

The Pop Group released three albums: Y, For How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Mass Murder, and We Are Time.

When the Pop Group slit up, Mark Stewart started a solo career with his new gropu Mark Stewart and the Maffia. The group signed to Adrian Sherwood's On U Sound, a label that epitomises the link between Jamaican reggae and British post punk. Other core members of the On U Sound team were Doug Wimbush, Keith Le Blanc, and Skip MacDonald of Tackhead, who had been the original Sugar Hill Records house band.

The Pop Group are featured on Soul Jazz Record's compilation of British post punk, In The Beginning There Was Rhythm, and also on the Mark Stewart compilation Kiss The Future, which also features tracks from Mark Stewart's solo career.

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