Previously, Richard Jobson and Russell Webb were both members of the Scottish punk band The Skids, while John McGeoch and John Doyle had both been members of post-punk pioneers Magazine.</ref> Each member had previously been in critically acclaimed and commercially successful bands; Jobson and Webb were in The Skids, whilst McGeoch and Doyle had been in Magazine.
The Skids had dissolved in 1981 and Magazine in 1982, following the release of their final albums (Joy and Magic, Murder and the Weather, respectively). John McGeoch had left Magazine in 1980, before the recording of their last album, joining Siouxsie and the Banshees. He also replaced Stuart Adamson for a Peel session recorded by The Skids in 1981.
According to Russell Webb, in the sleeve notes of the 2013 re-issue of their album Waiting for the Floods, the intention was not to be a band, but a collective of musicians getting together to write songs and make music in the studio. McGeoch persuaded his compatriots to take their songs on the road and, following a press showcase at The Venue in London, the band signed to Parlophone and EMI America.
Their debut single, “Castles in Spain”, was released in 1984, followed later that year by “We Can Be Brave Again”. Given the green light to record an album, the band spent four weeks at Manor Studios in rural Oxfordshire, with producer Nick Launay at the controls. The resultant album, Waiting for the Floods, and accompanying singles “The Glory of Love” and a re-release of “Castles in Spain” came out in 1985.
Richard Jobson spent less and less time with the band. In 1986, following the tour to promote the album, both McGeoch and Doyle left the band, with the former joining Public Image Ltd. and the latter working with former Buzzcocks lead singer/guitarist Pete Shelley.
When Jobson returned from China, where he had been working as model, he reunited with Webb, calling on Dave Lockwood (guitar) and Ray Weston (drums) to record tracks for their next album. The singles “Love in Anger” and “New York City” followed, In 1988, it was announced that the band had split up, with what would have been their second album Monkey Cry promoted as Richard Jobson’s solo debut Badman. After a brief solo career Jobson became a television presenter and film director. Webb pursued a solo career before joining McGeoch in Public Image Ltd in 1992, making his live debut at the Reading Festival.