....Just a bunch of Mofos!
The Mofos first formed in November 1999 and played their first gig at a private party in Hoo village hall in January 2000. The band was only really put together for this one off gig.
The four founding members of the band worked for a bank in the daytime and as musicians in the evening, although at the time, none of them were performing in bands. Their line manager (Nick Jordan), who later named the band 'The Mofos' mentioned that his brother (Fraser Jordan) was looking to form a new band to play at his upcoming 30th birthday party.
Picture (left to right): Fraser, Paul, John, Ian and Steve
As none of the members were gigging at the time, they were all on board with the idea and arranged a few rehearsals, having sourced a bass player (Paul Shepheard) who was an ex-college and musician friend of Ian's. The original line up of the band was:
Ian Ingles - Singer / Lead Guitar (Founding Member)
John Strike - Drums (Founding Member)
Stephen Piper - Electric Guitar (Founding Member)
Andy Pearce - Keyboards (Founding Member)
Fraser Jordan - Electric Guitar
Paul Shepheard - Bass Guitar
Picture (left to right): Fraser, Paul and Ian
As Fraser was fairly new to guitar they learnt songs that he already knew and worked at putting a 10 song set together. Very early on they realised, due to the sort of guitar-based music they were playing, there wasn't room for keyboards and sadly after a chat they said goodbye to Andy Pearce on keys.
Carrying on as a 5-piece they managed to learn a set and the one off birthday gig was performed with success. The feedback they received was encouraging.
As a result of the success, the band decided to carry on with the view of gaining some further gigs. Shortly after that initial gig however, Mofos singer Ian became very ill and was unable to participate for a couple of years.
Picture (left to right): Paul and Ian
Once Ian had built up his strength again, he and John entered into discussions about putting the band back together again.
They had a few practices, but Fraser was finding it difficult to commit enough time, so made the decision to part company and leave the band as he was struggling to juggle the band with personal life.
With two members having already left The Mofos, it wasn't looking good, but a hunt for a new line-up began. A change of roles was in order and Paul Shepheard was moved onto lead guitar. Paul was by far the best lead guitarist in the band so it made sense to move him off of bass which also allowed Ian to focus more on vocals.
The hunt was on for a bass player! Picture (left to right): Ian, John and Steve
Finding a bass player was frustrating. Initially, John suggested contacting his old friend and ex-band mate Andy Blythe Ford who he played with in the infamous 90's band 'The Sweet Leaves'. By chance both Andy and John bumped into each other one cold, dark, frosty morning on the platform at Paddock Wood train station. Both were on their way to work in London and were catching the same train.
They caught up on old times and John asked whether Andy wanted to join The Mofos. Although it was a tempting offer, Andy turned down the opportunity citing too many commitments which wouldn't have been fair on the band. Months passed with the band trialling numerous bass players but nothing seemed to work out.
Andy had been mulling over the offer to join the band and contacted John a few months later. He asked if the band had found a new bass player and they discussed the commitment level. After some skilful persuasion from John, Andy decided to give it a go. After an initial rehearsal, the new line up was confirmed and the band started to work on a decent set.
Andy was a great addition to the band as he not only brought great bass playing to the table but he also played keyboards and sang. This really made the band more versatile, meaning they could play tracks from Coldplay, Supergrass, The Charlatans, Snow Patrol etc., switching bass with Paul when required.
Picture (above): Andy Blythe Ford
The band played their first gig in the new line-up which would stick for over a decade in November 2003 at Quigleys (now MuMu's) in Maidstone and although it was ropey, they now had a band that could be worked on.
Picture (right): Quigleys
Many gigs were played over the following 11 years, during which they headlined The Maidstone River Festival and many beer festivals.
Picture (right): The Mofos playing The Maidstone River Festival in 2009
Pictures (Below): The Mofos - Their second gig and first gig with new bassist Andy at Quiggleys, Maidstone - November 2003
There was an emerging live music scene in Maidstone and the band was at the centre of it, featuring regularly at The Druid's Arms and the award winning Earls pub, both in Earl Street, Maidstone.
The band branched out further gigging in Medway, Dartford and they were in demand for private weddings, birthday parties and various events, earning accolades in the local press.
Picture (left): Awarding winning music venue 'Earls', Maidstone
Picture (right): The Druid's Arms, Maidstone
The band's popularity increased over the years and they even had an avid fan club at one point called 'The Mofettes'. The Mofettes designed their own T-shirts and wore them to gigs.
The band was flying and gigs were rolling in. The boys were enjoying their ventures and their sets were wide ranging.
Pictures (left): The Mofettes
Picture (below left): Original 'official' band photo (left to right: John, Steve, Andy, Paul & Ian)
Picture (below right): The Mofos playing a few songs at Ian's wedding at Pizza Express, Maidstone
The band were well known for not taking themselves too seriously and often got into the spirit for key calendar events such as Christmas, Halloween and the Olympics during 2012, dressing up for the occasions which went down well with the punters who often joined in with the festivities, getting dressed up for gigs themselves.
The band were landing key slots for these events and pulling in swelling crowds. They never disappointed and were always capable of churning out festive songs which in some way fed the 'cheese' element of their sets. The band relished in cover songs that would not only set themselves apart from other bands, but prove their worth as a band that was happy to incorporate a 'cheesy' unexpected element with a totally 'rocked-up' twist. This element to their set was always guaranteed to get people singiing and dancing!
Picture (right): John sporting his infamous headband and stage dressed in GB flags.
Picture (below): A Halloween promotion poster from 2011.
Towards the end of 2013, Paul (nickname - 'Shep') was finding it increasingly difficult to commit to the band and sadly decided to call it a day in order to spend time with his family. It was a difficult choice for Paul. He was a key player in the group and it wouldn't be the same without him. Paul's decision to leave the band was going to leave The Mofos without a lead guitarist.
When Ian told the band the news of Paul leaving, he too explained that he also wanted to call it a day. The band had had a good run and Ian thought it was best to go out on a high, rather than replacing Paul.
Ian, like the rest of the band felt that Paul was irreplaceable as he wasn't only their lead guitarist, but a very good friend to all members of the group. It would mean that any potential replacement would have very big shoes to fill and any newcomer would always feel like 'the new guy'.
Pictures (left and right): Paul Shepheard
The Mofos always had a good chemistry on stage and substituting a good friend and player with someone new, simply wouldn't have worked. After some thought, Andy suggested that Ian should take up the lead guitar role, as he once did in the early days, but Ian wasn't keen on the idea. The Mofos were at a crossroads and unsure what to do for the best.
Ian mulled over the lead guitar role and eventually decided to give it a go, but the band had to change in order to facilitate the change of line-up and decided on gradually introducing a more 'Rock' style approach that would suit Ian's lead guitar style, rather than Indie Rock, although a good balance of the two styles was important in order to sustain a degree of diversity and the set began to change to accommodate this swap around. The band dropped keyboards and the acoustic guitar element of their sets.
The band temporarily changed their name to The Nu Mofos for 2014 when they first went out as a four-piece and decided to give it a year to see what would happen. The feedback was very positive and the band picked up a new following and like back in 2003, started to work on getting the band tight again, after what was a big change.
Paul Shepheard even came back to perform a cameo role at the band's ultimate Christmas party gig at Earls at the end of 2014.
In 2015 the band dropped the 'Nu' from their name and pushed on for their 15th year on the road.
Picture (left): Temporary name change - 'Nu Mofos Promotional Logo'
At the end of 2014, the band launched new promotional material with a new and somewhat overdue re-designed band website. Having always embraced social media such as Facebook, the band expanded with a Mofos Twitter account and are again reaching out to a new audience.
Since the new website and promotional re-launch the band gathered a new following, swelling Facebook group membership and a revitalised positive reputation.
...and then there were three!
Popular demand meant that the gig schedule for 2016 increased significantly with close to 50 gigs booked. Steve was finding the schedule increasingly difficult and was trying to juggle personal commitments. As a founder member of the band, Steve decided to call it quits. The band had been continuing as a three-piece when Steve was unable to commit to gigs but this was becoming increasingly frequent.
Steve announced in June 2016 that he intended to stand down. As a member of 'Vince Vortex And The Cucumbers' Steve already had a commitment with another band and so decided it would be fairer to leave the band.
Steve was a true legend and a sorely missed member of the band, but parting was on good terms and he agreed to come back for re-union gigs.
Having already been out on the road as a three-piece and shown that the band could still cut it as three, the decision was inevitable to continue. Remaining members, Ian, John and Andy were very committed to the Mofos cause and weren't ready to give up. With so many gigs booked for the remainder of 2016 and an adaptable set, the band were set for an exciting future and started to hit the studio to freshen up the set.