Histoire

The Serpent Lord Emsworth Rob Megz
The Phantom Cowboys (L-R: Serpent - drums, Lord Emsworth - guitar & vocals, Rob - double bass, Megz - guitar)

The Phantom Cowboys were formed in Norwich in 1994 and immediately defied easy categorisation with their unique mix of rockabilly, jazz, punk and sinister pop music. Throughout their career, the band has consisted of Lord Emsworth on the guitar and vocals, Rob on bass, Megz on guitar and The Serpent on drums.

Phantom Cowboys c.1998 (L-R: Rob, Serpent, Lord Emsworh, Megz)

Phantom Cowboys c.1998 (L-R: Rob, Serpent, Lord Emsworth, Megz)

Their 1998 debut album, “Down and Out at The Club Cruella” was an instant cult favourite amongst fans of the sinister and stylish. It remains widely downloaded and played on Internet radio worldwide.

Cult psychobilly fanzine Deathrow Database reviewed Club Cruella on it's release, saying:

“The Phantom Cowboys have charm, style, irony and wit in their songs and of the 11 tracks here – all of which are Cowboy originals – I can’t find one I don’t like….Sarcasm, meets psycho[billy] with a touch of sophisticated smooth swing. As debut albums go, it’s one to be proud of.”

(One last drink at the) Club Cruella

After splitting up in 1999, the band remained a favourite for fans of retro and vintage-flavoured music on either side of the Atlantic, being featured on Anagram Record’s 2007 'Deathrow' retrospective of the UK Nineties psychobilly scene, and Skully Records influential ‘Gothabilly’ compilation series in the US.

The Phantom Cowboys on stage in 2015
The Phantom Cowboys on stage in 2015

The Phantom Cowboys reunited in Summer 2015, playing a reunion gig in their hometown of Norwich. Further dates followed, and in late 2016 the band released an EP entitled 'Dead Men's Clothes' on CD and 7" vinyl, consisting of four new original tracks, "The Hermit", "Rosemarie", "Dead Men's Clothes" & "Ghostwalk". The band promoted these with a number of gigs around the UK in 2017, including Bedlam Breakout Pychobilly Festival in Nottingham in March and their first headline gig in London at The Islington in August.

The band continue to play and write new material - a new album is planned for 2018 - as are celebrations for the twentieth anniversary of Down & Out At The Club Cruella...