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Tobruk were a melodic hard rock band formed in 1980, in Bedfordshire, England, by guitarist Mick Newman, who shortly thereafter relocated northwestward to the Midlands' unofficial rock & roll capital of Birmingham. Once there, Newman finished rounding up vocalist Stuart "Snake" Neil, guitarist Nigel Evans, keyboardist Jem Davis, bassist Steven Woodward, and drummer Alan Vallance, and Tobruk were soon demoing material boasting enough commercial appeal to eventually land the sextet a 1982 session with the BBC's Friday Rock Show. This, in turn, led to a one-off single deal with nearby Neat Records (1983's "Wild on the Run"), but Tobruk would have to wait a further two years and break in a new rhythm section (drummer Eddie Fincher and bassist Mike Brown) before finally earning a proper record deal from EMI subsidiary Parlophone. The result was 1985's déjà vu-inducing full-length Wild on the Run -- a full-fledged commercial rock affair reminiscent of Heavy Pettin' or, at best, Def Leppard, when it didn't border on outright AOR. Tobruk set out on tour with New Wave of British Heavy Metal latecomers Tokyo Blade and performed the odd European festival date, while Parlophone appeared to keep their end of the bargain by promoting two singles off the album. But problems gradually escalated between band and label when it came time to record a follow-up album; repeated remixes, rewrites, and delays eventually drove Snake and Newman out of their own band in 1987, and left what should have been Tobruk's sophomore effort indefinitely shelved. Luckily for the band's fans, independent FM Records purchased the master tapes and finally saw fit to issue Pleasure & Pain in 1988. Unluckily, the record fairly stunk, having been horribly watered down during all of those years of wrangling, so that Tobruk's one-time hard rock edge could scarcely be heard amidst the fluff. Oh yeah, and there was no longer an actual band to support it anyway, former members Newman and Snake having already started a new band called Idol Rich, and the latter briefly hooking up with the Wildhearts thereafter. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia

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Years Active:

'80s, '00s