Hauling Like A Brooligan

Stephen Gallagher

What’s in a Band Name?

Ever wonder why new bands always have such weird names? Because the simple ones are all used up, is why. Google for just about any common noun and you’ll find at least one band using it, usually with a MySpace page. They may not have any track record, they may not even have any songs to back up their ambitions. But whether they’re counting their sales, their gigs, or their dreams, they at least have dibs on some corner of the dictionary.

It wasn’t always such a big deal but in this wired age, unique can matter when it comes to names and titles. LA’s Brand X magazine recently told of how rising local band The Afternoons took the risky step of a mid-career identity change to avoid potential Google-crash with a Welsh band of the same name. It’s no big problem for them now, but they were thinking ahead. If someone’s going to be looking for your music online someday, you want to be sure it’s you they find.

(LA’s The Afternoons are now Shadow Shadow Shade.)

Whether or not you’re a fan of their music, you have to admit that Coldplay and Radiohead played the name game right. New bands can seek out a band name generator and land on any one of a number of sites that will mix and match band names from their lists of selected terms. At first these engines look like the answer to a prayer; after half an hour of clicking, you concede that they’re mostly just for amusement. If you want a real name, you probably won’t find it out there. You most likely have to dig around in your heart.

Which doesn’t stop bloggers and commentators from offering their suggestions, and I’m going to be no different. This is a list of band names I tinkered together over a couple of months, for reasons I’ll go into some other time. When I first started I’d check to see if they were in use already, but after a while I stopped bothering… so be forewarned. If there’s anything here you want to grab and use, do your own ‘due diligence’ first.

Feces Piper
The Shotgun Slugs
Die, Spammer, Die
The Chainsaw Dentists
Desert Gnats
Abusing Grace
M C Hamster
The Wrong Venus
Ace of Spayed
The Breathing Test
Bear Dance
The Poo Lumps
Down Rover
Run for Lovers
Mayfair Slayride
Reason for Treason
Cupid and the Psychos
Monkey Logic
Angels in Spitfires
The Slopes
Refried Jeans
The Slinkies
The Speckled Band
Spies and Prejudice
the mean achievers
Stranger than Ravens
Cactus Jones
The Rottentops
The Homework Club
*Gigs always end in a fight.

Feces Piper, by the way, is an actual job description.

If you’re starting a band and struggling for a name, and one of these takes your fancy, consider it my gift to you. Just let me know.

Except for brooligan. Someday that’s gonna be my band.

After I learn this guitar.