Kent Band Archive Wiki


Whitstable, Kent


Band Members[]

  • Iain Brown (guitar)
  • Tim Upcroft (bass)
  • Patrick McKernan (drums)


COA were a teenage punky trippy trio who played a few gigs around Kent in the early 1980s. Iain Brown and Tim Upcroft had a few jams and went into Oakwood Studios Canterbury to produce a demo. Pat McKernan came along for the day (sometime in 1982?) to provide drums. They made a 3 song cassette with a bit of a death fixation: "Tombstone", a strange bouncy number about facing up to death being ahead of us all, and "Shadows" about paranoia.

They went on to rehearse and record a few sessions on portastudios (including one produced by Ben Chaliss from the Ignerents/Beekeepers) experimenting with reversing tape tracks overdubbing and dangling microphones out of windows.

Among the gigs they played was a chaotic event at Queen Elizabeth school, Faversham (gatecrashing the Void's gig in the interval, Tim and Iain wearing lots of eyeliner, the latter in Paisley shirt, declaring, "There are too many stigs in the audience tonight", through grinding teeth!

They attempted to play a gig in Walmer but got drunk instead.

They played to about 10 people at Thanet college.

They also came 5th in Battle of the Bands Spring Bank Holiday weekend 1984, this took place at the long gone Ramsgate Marina Park. Being only in their mid teens at the time they took the train from Whitstable to Thanet carrying all their gear from the station to the venue. They were aided in this task by a 14 year old school friend Damian Harris (younger brother of the Ignerents Steven and Chris Harris). Keen to play live he joined them on second guitar. Judges at the contest included Nick Turner of Hawkwind, part of the winning bands prize being to play a support slot before Hawkwinds closing performance on Monday evening. 

They had some excellent drum sections and occasionally Iain managed to come up with some "original" and "interesting" guitar noises, Tim always provided solid bass. They had some potential -- but it all fizzled out.

Patrick later played bass in Atavistic with Tim's older brother Jeremy (Jez), before going solo as a folk/blues performer.

Iain went on to play guitar and write in Basic Love, then went through various incarnations of projects leading to Tangle.

Damian Harris formed independent record label Skint and produces music under the name Midfield General name-checking many Whitstable punk bands including COA in the sleeve notes of his debut album Generalisation released in 2000

Related Bands[]


  • ??/??/83 - Whitstable, All Saints Church Hall
  • 04/03/83 - Faversham, Queen Elizabeth School
  • 28/05/84 - Ramsgate, Marina Park