King Swamp Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This is a collection of tidbits and alike. For more information on Walter Wray,
click here.

How did the band "King Swamp" get it's name?
The group's name is a play on The Band song "King Harvest". The snake logo compounds the mystery surrounding them and their music. Says Allen, "We've chosen the snake because of the deep sexual meaning, the religious overtones, as in Adam and Eve and the original sin...and its healing prowers abd relationship with magic and witchcraft."

How did Walter Wray join the band?
How Walter Wray joined the band is somewhat of a mystery. One story has Allen and Halliwell finding Wray "busking" his way across America, singing old Lightin' Hopkins tunes interspered with original material. This story was told on several promotional interviews. The other, and more authentic, version is that a producer played the duo a demo tape of an aspiring Sheffield-based group that Wray was fronting. When Wray wrapped his vocal talents around the Swamp material he claims "it fit like a glove".

What year did the band form? Who started the band?
Formed in 1988 in London, King Swamp released their self-titled debut album the following year. King Swamp contained a fair number of ex-Shriekback people...the band formed when Dave Allen (bass) and Steve Halliwell (keyboards) left Shriekback in 1988 or thereabouts, and then, when Shriekback disbanded a bit later. Martyn Barker (ex-Shrieks drummer) and Dominic Miller (guitar) also joined the Swamp. For their second album, Wiseblood, in 1990, they added guitarists Mike Cozzi and Nick Lashley. After two albums, King Swamp disbanded, unfortunately for many fans out there.

What did critics say about "King Swamp"?
Grounded by Shriekback rhythm section Dave Allen on bass and Martyn Barker on drums, this quintet made a hell of a noise as the 1980s drew to a close. Walter Wray supplied rock star vocals and Dominic Miller, who later played for Sting, made his six-string howl. Allen and keyboard player Steve Halliwell supplied radio-ready tunes that somehow eluded airplay. After this promising eponymous debut, which included the single "Is This Love?," the group disbanded when its second album failed to generate much interest.

Was their music ever used on TV?
King Swamp music appeared in the TV show Miami Vice. Click here to see what episode.

What have others done since the band broke up?
Dominic Miller went on to play with Sting after leaving King Swamp. He has become Sting's main guitarist for the past several years. He also continues to make music and is very active in numerous projects. Visit his website.

Dave Allen went on to join up with the reformed Shriekback but for the past ten years, he has spent working in the online, interactive and digital arenas with companies as varied as Intel, and Overland Entertainment. He started his own online company Pampelmoose LLC in 2004. In early 2006 Pampelmoose changed business direction to focus entirely on its highly-trafficked blog, In the same year Pampelmoose became aligned with Nemo Design (, a Portland-based integrated branding, marketing and design shop whose clients include Nike, HP, Smith Optics and Mastercraft to name a few. In February 2008, he was promoted to a new position at Nemo Design. As Director, Insights & Digital Media, he is responsible for all of the companies outward facing PR and communications via the Internet. He was recently voted to the Board of the Northwest Chapter of NARAS, more commonly known as the Grammy's.

Walter Wray information can be found if you click here

Steve Halliwell has been playing keyboards with Walter Wray in Little Machine in the London area.

Mike Cozzi is still playing guitar and recording. See his site or his Facebook page.

Nick Lashley is still playing guitar now living in NY for the past several years. He played on Natasha Bedingfield's album and number 1 hit "Unwritten". He has worked with Alanis Morissette, Carly Simon, Avril Levine, Lisa Marie Presley, Mick Jagger, Michelle Branch, Tommy Lee, Chris Issak, and many more. Check his Facebook page. He also has filled in for the B-52’s on tour.

Martyn Barker, since the late 90's, has been recoding and touring with Billy Bragg, as a member of the Blokes. In 2008, he worked on Bragg's album. In 2007, he recorded with Nick cave, Bryan Ferry, and the Carthy family for Hal Willner's Rouge's Gallery. His most recent recordings on drums have been on albums for Ray Davies, Kathryn Williams, Niziopi, and others. See his Facebook page.