12 famous bands and musicians you might not know are from Essex


OUR Essex County has a proud musical history.

Believe it or not, over the decades the county has formed some of the greatest bands and musicians Britain, but the world, has ever seen.

Among the county’s famous former residents are members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Glastonbury headliners and British award winners.

Some of the famous bands that hail from the county are so well known and synonymous with Essex that you’ll instantly know who we’re talking about, however, there are plenty of other bands and musicians you might not know.

Here are the most famous bands and musicians in Essex:

Dispatch Mode

The Basildon rockers – which consist of Dave Gahan, Martin Gore and Andy Fletcher, Vince Clarke, Peter Gordeno and Alan Wilder – were inducted by Hollywood actress Charlize Theron last year.

It is one of the highest honors in pop music and Depeche Mode has joined the world’s most famous musicians in being inducted.

The group has sold millions of albums worldwide and has been headlining festivals around the world.

Fall out


The icons of the Britpop Blur hail from Colchester, at least the songwriting duo, singer Damon Albarn and guitarist Graham Coxon, who first met at Stanway School.

Although rumors have been circulated their hit Parklife is about Castle Park, it apparently isn’t.

In 2009, Blur made a live comeback after a decade of hiatus in front of around 150 delighted fans at the Easy Anglian Railway Museum, in Wakes Colne, where they performed their very first concert.

It also means that we can count Gorillaz like being from Essex too – sort of at least.

The horrors

Formed in Southend in 2005, the group is made up of vocalist Faris Badwan, guitarist Joshua Hayward, keyboardist and synthesizer Tom Furse, bassist Rhys Webb, and drummer and percussionist Joe Spurgeon.

The group released five studio albums, their last in 2017, all of which ranked in the UK Top 40.

On releasing their latest album, they faced off against Southend’s Nothing But Thieves who were releasing their second album the same month – to which guitarist Josh Hayward said: “It’s good to see some Southend bands still alive. “.

The Prodigy


One of Essex’s greatest musical successes is certainly The Prodigy.

The band was formed in 1990 in Braintree and is the brainchild of keyboardist and composer Liam Howlett.

He was joined by the legendary Keith Flint, who lived in the Braintree District until his death in 2019, and the rest is history.

The group has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide and has been headlining the biggest festivals around the world.

Anne Marie


Anne Marie is a chart-topping artist and TV star who has appeared on Bake Off and is a judge on The Voice.

The star grew up in East Tilbury – and still has strong ties to the area.

Earlier this year, she organized food bank initiatives at East Tilbury Primary School and St Clere School after partnering with the Caring Family Foundation.

Read more:

Eddie and the hot rods

Probably the second most famous band to come from Canvey, Eddie and Hot Rods also arrived on the scene in the 1970s.

They are best known for their 1977 UK Top 10 “Do Anything You Wanna Do”, published as The Rods.

Nothing but thieves


Formed in 2012 in Southend, the rock group has grown steadily in recent years, achieving huge success in 2020 with the release of their third studio album, Moral Panic.

Their style of music has been compared to that of Foals, Civil Twilight and Royal Blood.



Formed at Basildon in 1981 when Alison Moyet published an ad in the newspaper seeking to form a group.

The duo released two critically acclaimed albums, Upstairs at Eric’s and You and Me Both.

Alison has of course had an extremely successful solo career.

Olly Murs

Gazette: Photo: Steve BradingPhoto: Steve Brading

Former X Factor star Olly is originally from Witham and still lives in Essex.

After his success in the series, he had an extremely successful musical career.

His latest tour saw him perform a huge homecoming show at Castle Park in Colchester.


Two members of the pop group McFly are from Essex.

Bassist Dougie Poynter and drummer Harry Judd are from the county.

Dr Feelgood


Formed in 1971 on Canvey Island, the group was legendary on the 1970s pub rock scene.

The band’s quintessentially British R&B sound centered around Wilko Johnson’s jerky guitar style.

Extremely influential in the creation of punk rock, a Julien Temple film about the band’s early days, Oil City Confidential, premiered at the London Film Festival in 2009.

Over the years they have undergone a series of line-up changes, but they still occur in various forms.


The iconic ’80s soul singer was born in Nigeria but grew up in Essex at the age of four.

She then inspired Beyonce and Kanye West.


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