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HistoryRudi formed in 1975 as a covers band with members Brian Young, Ronnie Matthews, Graham Marshall, Leigh Carson and Gordon Blair, playing rock 'n' roll and glam rock hits. The band's name was taken from a single called "Oo Oo Rudi" by The Jook. After bass guitarist Johnny Stewart joined, the group adopted the new pop punk sound. The band wore a stage uniform of boiler suits, stolen by drummer Graham Marshall from his place of work. Original Stiff Little Fingers bassist Gordon Blair joined in 1977.The band's debut release was the "Big Time" single, the first release for Terri Hooley's Good Vibrations label in May 1978, bringing positive reviews in the music press (it was later described by Henry McDonals of The Observer as "one of the most perfect pop songs to come out of this island") and prompting the band to relocate to London. They failed to secure a record deal in London, and suffered a further setback when guitarist Ronnie Matthews and drummer Marshall were jailed for a week after their Clapham squat was raided, and they returned to Belfast. In 1979 they contributed "Overcome by Fumes" to the Battle of the Bands EP, and they were offered a record deal by Polydor, on the condition that they replaced Marshall, but the offer was declined. A four-track EP of their own followed, and the band embarked on a tour of England. Blair was sacked, later joining The Outcasts, with Matthews moving to bass. A television appearance on BBC2's Something Else in 1980 showcased the band's proposed next single on Good Vibrations, "The Pressure's On"/"Who You", but the band left the label in frustration with Hooley. The band recorded a session for Mike Read's BBC Radio 1 show The Evening Session in June 1980, and a deal with Target Records was proposed but failed with the label's demise. They were offered a deal with Ariola Records by Pete Waterman, but instead decided to sign with the Paul Weller-funded Jamming! label. Sessions for John Peel and David Jensen's radio shows and two further singles followed between 1981 and 1983, the latter ("Crimson") being named "Single of the Week" by Sounds, and Rudi supported The Jam on their Transglobal Unity Express tour. When The Jam split up, the Jamming! label folded soon afterwards, and Rudi found themselves without a label, and also split up.Matthews, Young, and Marshall re-emerged with a new band, Station Superheaven, while Brian Young formed a series of bands including The Tigersharks, The Roughnecks, and The Sabrejets. In the 2000s, Young played in Shame Academy, along with Greg Cowan of The Outcasts and Petesy Burns of Stalag 17.A compilation CD of the band's recordings was released in 1996 on the Cherry Red label Anagram.Rudi have influenced several later bands, including The Saw Doctors and Therapy?, both of whom recorded cover versions of "Big Time".


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