The Sports performed and recorded between 1976 and 1981. Mainstay members were Stephen Cummings on lead vocals and Robert Glover on bass guitar, with long-term members as Paul Hitchins on drums, Andrew Pendlebury on lead guitar and vocals, and Martin Armiger on guitar. Their style was similar to both 1970's British pub rock bands (such as Brinsley Schwarz) and British new wave (such as Elvis Costello).
They originally formed in 1976 by Stephen Cummings, who was the lead singer of Melbourne rockabilly group, The Pelaco Brothers, (which also comprised Joe Camilleri, Peter Lillie and Johnny Topper). The original line-up were Cummings and ex-Pelaco Brothers band mate, Ed Bates, on guitar, Robert Glover (ex-Myriad) on bass guitar, Jim Niven (ex-The Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band)on piano and Paul Hitchins on drums. Their early sets contained covers of Chuck Berry, Billy Emerson, Don Covay, Company Caine and Graham Parker material. Original songs, mostly written by Cummings and Bates, completed their sets. The Sports' debut recording was a four-track extended play, Fair Game, which was released in early 1977 on the independent label, Zac Records. A friend in London posted the record to the New Musical Express which declared it 'Record of the Week'.
The Sports were in tune with music trends dominating London rock and had provided song-based rock as an antidote to punk, which was dubbed new wave. Cummings was compared favourably with Mick Jagger and Bates was praised for his slide guitar style: being similar to Little Feat. "We were totally surprised," Cummings said in 1997 of the NME review; he continued, "It was the last thing you'd expect. It was my making and my undoing in some ways. When you have everything go right so quickly you expect that everything after that is going to be good and that easy. It meant that I probably didn't put myself out as much as I should have."
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