The Origins of 6 Band’s Names

It was hard to decide which bands to research but it seemed an interesting activity to discover how some of the bands from pop charts past and present ended up with their names. To no longer wonder at what moment it was decided, and which band member came up with the idea.



Coldplay are a band that was put together in London in 1996. Their members are Chris Martin, on rhythm guitar and piano, Johnny Buckland on lead guitar, Guy Berryman on bass, and Will Champion on Drums. They were originally called “Starfish”. When the band did not want to use that name anymore, a friend’s band took the name and then they came up with a new one. The band took their name Coldplay from a book of poems entitled Child’s Reflections. Coldplay had hits with songs such as Clocks, In My Place, and Trouble.


Little Mix

The girl band were put together on the TV talent show X Factor. It was after the threat of legal action in relation to their name Rhythmix that they had to change their name. There was a Brighton charity named the same. The band decided on the name Little Mix after a chat with their mentor Tulisa Contostavlos. They apparently all agreed at the time that the name felt right. So, there is no more to the name than that. Winning the X Factor in 2011, the band consisted of Jade Thirlwall, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Perrie Edwards, and Jesy Nelson, who has recently left the band.



The English ska band Madness all come from Camden Town in North London. They were formed in 1976. To this day they perform with six of their original seven members. After a brief change to the name Morris and the Minors, the band would rename themselves Madness in 1979. This was to pay homage to a favourite song of theirs which reggae/ska artist Prince Buster would sing. Their hits include Baggy Trousers, Driving in My Car, and Our House.



It was Gallagher brother and band member Liam who changed the band’s name to Oasis. He was apparently inspired by a poster from an Inspiral Carpets tour. The poster was in the bedroom of the Gallagher brothers. The poster listed the Oasis Leisure Centre in Swindon as one of the venues. The band in the past have produced music which is inspired by The Beatles sound. Wonderwall is a famous tune of theirs that you might remember.


Pet Shop Boys

After originally being called West End, the synth duo came up with the name Pet Shop Boys after a friend who worked in a pet shop in Ealing. Neil Tennant was previously a teacher, and Chris Lowe was a journalist and assistant editor for Smash Hits magazine. Lowe can be seen on old clips of Top of the Pops creating their music on an Emulator II synthesizer, while Tennant sings. Interesting, one of their hits was called West End Girls, which would relate to their former name.


The Killers

I just had to look this one up. The band’s name was inspired by the New Order video “Crystal” from 2001. In the video, a band that was pretending to be New Order had the name of “Killers” written on their drumkit. It was Brandon from The Killers, who was a fan of New Order, who decided that they should use that name. He would later have all his dreams come true when he was a guest vocalist for New Order on the song at T in the Park in 2005.



So, a few interesting stories from some of the UK’s famous bands. Many of them changing from their original names.

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