On Parole

on parole logo

Band Information

From Livingston, Scotland


  • Liam, Wullie, Dickie, Chunky
  • Liam, Wullie, Dickie, Bob
  • Liam, Wullie, Dickie, Fid
  • Liam, Stephen, Dougie, Graeme
  • Liam, Stephen, Bob, John


Written by

On Parole were a punk band that came from the Scottish new town Livingston and existed 1979-1983. They took their name from the "On Parole" summer tour by The Clash in 1978. The original band members were Liam on vocals, Wullie on guitar, Tod on guitar, Chunky on bass and Dickie on drums. Tod left quite early on because he got married and didn't like playing in a live environment according to one source.

The first time that I saw the band play was in September 1980 when they supported another local band called The Frauds at the community school where the band also rehearsed. On Parole blew the support band away with a tight set of covers and original songs. The cover of "Garageland" is one song that stuck out and also the original composition "Crown Court" with its anthemic chorus.

I was with the band when they played a gig in Slateford, Edinburgh later that year with Bob replacing chunky on bass. I also saw them playing the local school another couple of times in 1981.

Around the summer of 1981 Liam was left with the responsibility of finding new members for the band as the others had moved in for various reasons. It was at this point that Stephen was recruited on drums. There were a couple of false starts with other members joining and then leaving before two brothers Dougie and Graeme joined to complete the line-up. The Patterson brothers had been playing with a band called Another Youth with their elder brother Scott and friend Billy. It was at this point that I became known as the manager.

We rehearsed once a week and a load of new songs were written to supplement the songs from the original line up. A gig was arranged supporting a London-based rock band at the community school once again. The gig was a great success and a session in a studio was soon organised.

The first demo tape was recorded in May 1982 at the Palladium Studios in Edinburgh. The band recorded five songs, which were "On the Run", "Crown Court", "Condemned", "Assault" and "No Justice". I sold copies of this without knowing that the transfer wasn't a clean copy. It was only on a visit to London and a chat with the then Business manager Lol Pryor that this was brought to my attention. When I returned I sent Lol a clean copy and it was through this that he recommended the band to No Future for inclusion on their second instalment of "A Country Fit For Heroes".

on parole demo tape cover

It was also during this trip that a gig was arranged with promoter Dave Long at Skunx for August of 1982. A Luton van containing thirty punks and skinheads with three bands from Livingston travelled down overnight to London. The three bands were On Parole, Skroteez and Sedation (RIP Bongo).

Upon arrival to the venue early on Saturday morning everybody split into three groups with one lot heading to Kings Road, another load went to Soho and the third stayed locally drinking. On the night The Business turned up and jumped on stage to play three songs. It was considered a great success and the van travelled back to Livi the next day.

It was shortly after this the band got offered the contract for "Condemned" by No Future Records and went back into Palladium to re-record the song. The band recorded the following songs in the session; "Grass", "Crown Court", "Condemned", "Assault", and "Imagine".

A Country Fit For Heroes Volume 2

After this recording a third and final gig with the Patterson brothers in the band was promoted at the Lanthorn with The Skroteez and Drop Outs supporting. Dougie and Graeme were replaced by the two Strachan bothers. Bob had previously played in the band early on and John was an accomplished player. This line up never got passed the rehearsal stage and the band folded in Easter of 1983.

It's been interesting in recent years to see the band receive some critical acclaim for the "Condemned" song. I've only ever received one statement from No Future Records and nothing at all from the company that hold the master rights, even though I've worked with the label over the years on other projects.

style="padding-right: 15px;" The song has recently been covered by a Mexican band called Himnos and has been released on vinyl. In recent years I've been following Crown Court because I found out that they took their name from the On Parole song. That's a great honour because I like what Trevor and the boys do. For various reasons the band won't reform and play.

There was a lot of great moments and everybody involved is honoured with the interest.

on parole band photo

Discography 1980-1989


on parole band photo

on parole band photo


We're expected to be nice little boys
Be good and don’t do anything wrong
Speak when you're spoken to and not before
That shit doesn't agree with me
I'm not as thick as I appear to be
I'm not gonna be a puppet of society

Condemned - for being different
Condemned - like a man insane
Condmened - for being one of the lads
Condemned - for not being sophisticated

I get stared at when I walk down the street
They add me up from my head to my feet
I don't care about them, they don't care about me
They are so pure, they are so discreet
All with their money and a parliament seat
They're respected and it's plain to see
They like to be known as your local MP

They look down at the lower class
They don't associate with people like us
Cheap actions, don't let the side down
They've got friends in high up places
They're the ones with distinguished faces
Going to Ascot this weekend?
I might see you there

on parole band photo

Bob and Liam
John and Stevie

on parole band photo

on parole band photo

On Parole along with  Livi Punk bands The Skroteez and The Dropouts.
Newspaper caption: "New Romantics went into hiding as Livingston punk bands The Dropouts and The Skroteez were joined by Glasgow band On Parole for a 3 band gig at the Lawthorn."


On Parole