Local legends The Shapes are set to return to their hometown of Leamington this summer to celebrate a major milestone. Marking their 40th anniversary in 2017, the band will perform live at The Assembly’s Zephyr Lounge on Friday 4 August.Formed in 1977 at the height of punk rock, the band soon developed a reputation for their witty, absurdist works, in contrast to the more overtly political music of many of their contemporaries. Taking up the stage names Seymour Bybuss and Brian Helicopter, founder members Ben Browton (vocals) and Gareth Holder (bass) were initially joined by Charlie Pullen, Nigel Greenaway and Nick Hadley, performing their first gig at Warwick University. After the original line-up began to break down, Pullen, Greenaway and Hadley left and the line-up settled with Dave Gee on drums and Tim Jee and Steve Richards on guitar. Frustrated by early experiences working with EMI, The Shapes eventually released their debut EP on their own Sofa Records label. The record, “Part of the Furniture”, is characteristic of their off-the-wall humour, with tracks like “(I Saw) Batman (In The Launderette)” and “Wot’s For Lunch Mum? (Not Beans Again!)”. The EP was produced at Leamington’s Woodbine Studios by John Rivers, who later recorded The Specials’ “Ghost Town” – some time after The Specials played their first ever gig in support of The Shapes. The band went on to support numerous major punk and new wave acts, finding fans among the likes of John Peel and Captain Sensible of The Damned. Their next single, “Airline Disaster”/ “Blast Off” was released on Terri Hooley’s Belfast-based Good Vibrations label. Over time, however, their light-hearted approach fell out of fashion, and gradually the members drifted apart, until their reunion at the Rebellion Punk Festival in 2008.