Whatever Happened To? The Piranhas


The Piranhas were a Brighton based ska/punk band who had a major UK hit with a cover of Jack Lerole’s “Tom Hark” in 1980. They also reached the top 20 with a cover of Lou Busch’s “Zambezi” two years later. The original line-up featured frontman “Boring” Bob Grover, guitarist Johnny Helmer, bassist Reginald Frederick Hornsbury and drummer Dick Slexia (Richard Adland).

Here’s a reminder of the band at their pomp…

In the mid noughties Grover formed Dates who released one long player titled “First Party, Fire And Theft”.


Following the band breakup Johnny Helmer formed a “Cabaret busking group” with Nick Dwyer called Pookiesnackenburger who featured in Channel 4 television show “Alter Image”.

Here’s “Dustbin Dance” from the show…

The dance would be used for a Heineken advertisement in 1986.

Following the departure of Marillion’s frontman Fish, Helmer would regularly contribute lyrics for the band. Hits included “Hooks In You”, and the “The Uninvited Guest”.

In 1999, Helmer published a novel titled “Mother Tongue”.

According to Wikipedia,bassist Reginald Frederick Hornsbury now works as a mechanic in Wiltshire and has 2 children.

As of 2015, Grover continues to play live shows as The Piranhas Four.

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