Mouthwash (band)

Mouthwash (band)
Origin West Norwood, London, England, United Kingdom
Genres Ska punk, Rock, Pop
Years active 1995–2011
Labels Hellcat Records
WDC Recordings
Rebel Alliance Recordings
'Nipa' Fry
Rich Fry
Rob Tortelli
Burch Bator
Chris Hugall
Marcia Richards (honorary member)

Mouthwash were a ska-punk band, originally formed in West Norwood, London, England, in 1995.[1]



Mouthwash were an indie/ska/electro/punk band from South London, UK. They originally formed as a three-piece band consisting of Ben McCarthy (vocals/bass guitar), Rob Tortelli (guitar) and Chris Hugall (drums). They played their first gig in early 1996 in a South London record store called Shake Some Action.

Their first release was an EP entitled Music for the Average Ninja(1997) which was released on their own self-funded record label, Hot Wok Records.

In 1997, Rich Fry joined the band and took over bass guitar duties from Ben, with the latter maintaining his role as vocalist for the band. At this time Chris and Nipa (the future lead singer) were playing for Arsenal FC, The training for the club was full time and had interfered with band commitments. Chris and Nipper made 2 and 3 first team appearances respectively for the Gunners, both making their premier league debuts as substitutes in the 5-0 home win over Barnsley in November 1997. Nipper went on to play for Fulham, then Macclesfield Town. Chris was released by the club in 1998 after failing the medical to turn pro. After this Chris could now concentrate on the band fully and the band started to become much more active and Mouthwash supported such bands as The Vandals, Rancid, Less Than Jake, U.K. Subs and Agnostic Front; as well as headlining gigs in their own right.

Whilst supporting Rancid, Tim Armstrong asked the band to join Hellcat Records. The tracks Fools Gold and We Evolve feature on the Hellcat Records compilations Give 'Em the Boot volumes II[2] and III[3] respectively.

In January 2001 Mouthwash released their début full-length album, 1000 Dreams, on Hellcat Records which received critical acclaim around the world.

After touring the record in Europe and the East coast of America (one of the most shambolic, punkest tours the world has ever known, which saw the band sleeping in shacks in the woods, hitchiking, living in squats in NYC and touring with a mental patient in the van) the band split up after vocalist Ben McCarthy left the band. The band grew in popularity whilst they were split up, achieving cult status, and their own unique brand of UK sounding urban ska became very influential. Some artists who have claimed to have been influenced by the band include The King Blues, Jamie T and even Tim Armstrong's side project band The Transplants, who's song 'California Babylon' bears a resemblance to the Mouthwash song 'Babylondon'.

The 3 remaining members of the band returned in late 2006 with a new line-up, now with Nipa Fry on vocals/keys, Rich Fry on guitar and Burch on bass/vocals. The break had seen the band pursue other activities, most notably Nip and Rich, who were both big Pro-Wrestling fan's, trained at the FWA academy on and off for about a year, then in St Albans with WWE veteran JAKE 'THE SNAKE' ROBERTS.

The new Mouthwash participated on the inaugural Ruff and Ready Tour in February 2007 alongside Sonic Boom Six, The King Blues and Failsafe.

Their new CD, their second full-length entitled 'True Stories', was originally slated to be released on London-based independent label Household Name Records, although they eventually released it on their own label, WDC Recordings. The release was primarily available direct from the band (either at gigs or via their website) but was also available at some independent record shops, and digitally via iTunes.

Following the self release they toured the UK extensively to promote their new record and In April and May 2009 they were the main support for their old friends The King Blues for half of their UK tour.

True Stories was re-released by independent label Rebel Alliance Recordings on 4 May 2009. The CD was initially packaged with a bonus second CD - featuring previously unreleased live session recordings (both electric and acoustic) and demos - including new recordings of older songs Fool's Gold and We Evolve and covers of Minor Threat's I Don't Wanna Hear it and UB40's One in Ten. Later versions of the CD came in a new digipack - without the bonus second disc - with three of the second disc's tracks as 'bonus tracks'.

Although the second Mouthwash record was released in late 2008, it has only been in 2010 that the band has really re- established itself fully. 2010 has seen the band tour heavily in support of the record, completing the 'Rebel Alliance' tour of the UK w/ The Skints, Chris Murray and Random hand. they were also again asked out by their od friends, and were main support for 'The King Blues' on their biggest tour to date. The London homecoming date was at The Shepherds Bush Empire on April 27. Over the summer of 2010 the band have continued touring as support for Big D and the kids Table, and August saw them play a triumphant set at The Empress Ballroom in Blackpool at the Rebellion Festival, probably the bands biggest show to date.

The band have recorded some new material, including their live favourite 'Nine To Five', which is finished, mixed and mastered. The song was produced by Chris' brother Charlie Hugall (Florence and the Machine, Razorlight, Kaiser Chiefs) in Brixton. The band have plans to release the record before the end of the year, having shot a video for the tune with Adam Powell ( King Blues, Gallows, Giggs, Jamie T) in a tooting social club. Look out for it soon!!

In October 2010 the band set out on their first ever headline tour of the UK. The London show is on 4 November at the Barfly.

In the last couple of years various members of Mouthwash have performed/recorded with The Awful Crew, Herbert Wrecking Crew, Florence and the Machine, Crystal Fighters, Paloma Faith, Jack Penate, Saints of insanity, Mr. Exhaust, The Murderhunks and Wonk Unit to name but a few.

On December 12, 2010, The band will play alongside Random Hand, The Creepshow, The Skints, The Hydropaths, and Acid Drop for the Slam Dunk punk/ska all dayer at the Cockpit in Leeds UK. On May 3, 2011 there were announced to play at Reading & Leeds Festival on the Lock Up stage marking what would have been their first appearance at the festival.

On June 21, 2011, a statement from Chris on the networking site Facebook, announced the bands break-up,

"Good day all,

Writing this statement is very strange for me as I have been in Mouthwash for the majority of my life and it is difficult to imagine life without it, but I can confirm that as of today we will no longer be playing together.

We would like to apologise to all our fans and say a huge thank you for making this a truly unforgettable and amazing experience. You were totally incredible and we are truly sorry that we cannot play some last shows for you guys. You are everything that is good about this band.

We would also like to thank all the bands we have toured with, to our booking agent Ian Armstrong and all the promoters who made it all happen for us. We would like to thank the producers we have worked with (Pete Miles and Charlie Hugall) and to everyone who has helped and supported us over the years by putting us up, putting up with us and driving and feeding us. It is amazing what we have achieved doing things DIY and it would not have been possible without you.

Our final recording Nine to Five produced by my brother Charlie Hugall will be available from tomorrow (hopefully) on Itunes. The video for the song was directed by our friend Adam Powell and is up on YouTube.

I’m sure there will be future projects so keep a look out!

Big love and respect to you all,

Chris x".

Band members

  • 'Nipa' Fry: vocals/synthesizer
  • Rich Fry: lead guitar
  • Rob Tortelli: rhythm guitar/vocals
  • Burch Bator: bass guitar/vocals
  • Chris Hugall: drums

Occasional guest: Ed Koral: Trumpet, Percussion


EPs and Singles

Year Album Label
1997 Music for the Average Ninja EP Hot Wok
1999 Fools Gold EP Hot Wok
2011 Nine to Five self-released


Year Album Label
2001 1000 Dreams Hellcat
2009 (re-release)
True Stories WDC
Rebel Alliance


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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