The Meteors are a psychobilly band from the United Kingdom, who are often credited with giving the genre its distinctive sound. Although the origins of psychobilly are debatable, the Meteors consider themselves the first and only psychobilly band. Fans of the band are known to use the slogan “Only the Meteors are pure psychobilly” (often shortened to just “OTMAPP”) as a rallying cry.
The Meteors were started in 1980 by P. Paul Fenech (guitar and vocals), Nigel Lewis (upright bass), and Mark Robertson (drums). Fenech and Lewis had played in rockabilly bands before, but left their former band, Raw Deal, in order to experiment with a new sound that mixed horror and science fiction lyrics with a punk rock-rockabilly crossover. This sound would later be called psychobilly.
The Meteors played their first show during Rockabilly Night at The Sparrow Hawk in north London, but after being heckled due to their punk fashion, decided to begin playing shows beyond just rockabilly clubs. They developed a loyal following known as “the Crazies,” who invented their own dance style called “going mental,” a cross between dancing and moshing. This would later be renamed “wrecking,” and is still a staple of the psychobilly scene to this day. Coupled with Fenech’s ritual of spitting blood during performances, many clubs believed they were dangerous and refused to book them. The band began playing at punk rock clubs alongside other UK punk bands such as the Anti-Nowhere League and the UK Subs.