The Onset

The most arresting band in captivity (Pete Frame, Rock Family Trees)

The OnsetThe Onset – The Onset (1989-1995) (Gen10) 2005

  • First I Feel You
  • I Do What I Can
  • Sun and Moon
  • Rhapsody
  • Walking Tall
  • Set For Destruction
  • Touch The Moon
  • The Mystery Of Life
  • Endless Sun
  • You’re Not Alone
  • The Factory
  • Where Love Is


Wake Up With...Wake Up With Probe Plus – (Probe Plus) Various 2005
Compilation album featuring a track by The Onset – (The Pool Of Life Revisited) from the Probe Plus archives.

  • Another Mans Crime



Liverpool Cult Classics Vol 2Unearthed – Volume Two (Viper 009) Various 2001
A Compilation album featuring archive sounds from the Liverpool underground.

  • Precious Love








Pool Of Life RevisitedThe Pool Of Life Revisited – The Onset (Probe Plus 40) 1994
Geoff Davies from Probe Plus wanted to re-release ‘The Pool Of Life’ on CD. Eventually it appeared as ‘The Pool Of Life Revisited ‘containing nine songs and instrumentals from the original 1988 recording session , plus seven new songs recorded in ’93 and ’94.

  • Raken’em Down
  • The Taker (second take)
  • The Cowboy and His Wife
  • Precious Love
  • Talkin’ Space Travel Blues
  • Too Proud To Start
  • Trees and Plants
  • Glad Rag (instrumental)
  • The Mansion on The Hill (Rose/Williams)
  • Pool of Life (instrumental)
  • For You
  • Two Times Forgotten Man
  • Poor and Lonely Girl
  • Starlight Tuneful
  • Another Mans’ Crime
  • Let’s Go Home


The OnsetThe What Say You EP (Furious Fish Onset 1) 1990
This EP was released by a small London Label in between The Onsets’ tours of Germany and the UK .The big mistake was to put the most radio friendly track ‘First I Feel You’ on the second side ,though it was picked up on by Mark Radcliffe and featured on his Radio 5 show ‘Hit The North.’

  • What Say You
  • Two Step Angel
  • First I Feel You
  • Sun and Moon




Pool Of LifeThe Pool of Life -The Onset (Probe Plus 19) 1988
The Onset formed late 1987 after Mike Badger departed The La’s at the end of the previous year. Recorded in May 1988 it was released the following Autumn. The album only appears on vinyl and contains sixteen tracks nine of which now appear on the CD ‘The Pool Of Life Revisited’).

  • Raken’em Down
  • The Taker (First Take)
  • For You
  • Down at The Space Rocketry
  • Peace Chain
  • In The Red
  • Moon Bather
  • Glad Rag (instrumental)
  • Crying Shame
  • Too Proud to Start
  • Pool Of Life (instrumental)
  • The Mansion On The Hill (Rose/Williams)
  • Precious Love
  • Rockin’Out The Depression
  • Talkin’Space Travel Blues
  • Let’Go Home

Mike BadgerThe Onset started playing live in 1988 (arguably the UK’s first alternative country band),firstly in and around Liverpool, then touring Germany/Austria in 1989 ,1990 and 1991,gradually becoming more electric,mixing the roots with a more Indie guitar based sound.They also toured the UK playing with Half Man Half Biscuit, the Edinburgh Fringe Circuit and with Jonathan Richman in 1992.(The debut album- ‘The Pool of Life Revisited’ Probe Plus 40)- Now also available ‘The Onset’ gen10

The Onset European Radio: Emma Peel (Bayerischer Rundfunk) 1989,La Session Noire (France Inper)1990, Planet Claire (Paris Aligre)1991and American College Radio Stations W.F.M.U (New Jersey).

The Onset on Television -Music Box (Satellite Channel) in 1990 ,Granada Celebration in 1991 and in the same year were featured on Granada Reports- also Live from East Berlin broadcast in 1991.

Band Line up :

Mike Badger : Vocals, Guitar.
Danny Dean : Lead Guitar, Backing vocals.
Simon Cousins : Bass ,Backing Vocals.
Paul Hemmings :Guitar ,Lap Steel, Mandolin.
Tony Russell : Drums.

Record Collector Review- The Onset (Gen 10)

From the lost hidden folds of early Britpop, The Onset formed around the guiding talents of Mike Badger, who had departed the La’s. The Onset became a central force of Liverpool’s hugely innovative Probe Plus label, which operated from the record shop of the same name. It’s curious to note that these twelve studio recordings hail from the half decade which preceded the mid-90s Britpop explosion, and yet appear to have stemmed precisely from that era. In short,they sound as if they should be post Ocean Colour Scene, if not post Oasis. If nothing else this is a testament to the song writing vision of Badger ,who cleverly plucks references from from the pop edge of 60s R&B and filters them into a bunch of downbeat Merseyside. This is a young precocious album shot through with good old scally suss.

Mick Middles (issue306)

THE ONSET – (Generator; 2004)

After a couple of compilation appearances (mostly on their hometown based Viper label), here’s an album worth of unreleased tracks, recorded between ’89-’94, and all (co)written by The Onset frontman and The La’s founding member Mike Badger. Naturally enough, the comparision just can’t be avoided, and Mike tends to support it by occasionally clearly showing off what his contribution in The La’s was, through the Lloyd Cole-ish beat-pop jangle of tracks such as “First I feel you”, “Set for destruction” and “Where love is”. My personal fave is “Walking tall”, an acoustic folk rock piece of the kind that fellow Scousers, The Great Northwestern Hobos, are doing their best to deliver these days, “Endless sun” is an electrified form of the same formula, while “Rhapsody” might be something like a folky chamber pop. On a 12-bar side of things, there’s a couple of them providing some late’60s bluesy-psych mood (“Sun and moon”, “Touch the moon”, “You’re not alone”), while “I do what I can” comes out like a Stones-ish garage type. I’ve never had a chance to hear The Onset’s official album, but if it’s at least as good as the unreleased stuff, Mike surely deserves his place along his old partners in the pop crime.

Goran Obradovic / POPISM radio show; Serbia & Montenegro

On Tour With Jonathan Richman 1992:

‘Who can forget Glastonbury 1992, Jonathan sings ‘People all over the world are starving for affection’ and within two minutes, the entire audience are swapping addresses and resolving to phone their mothers.’

Peter Paphides -Time Out

The Onset: I Do What I Can

‘The Secret Life of Liverpool’s Other Band’
Poptones Review

When Mike Badger split from the La’s, Lee Mavers went on with the La’s and into the stratosphere. Yet, Badger continued, formed the Onset. Now the surprise. The Onset were on par with the La’s. This collection from Mike Badger’s own label collates all the supremely rare singles that the Onset have recorded. And man is it good! Like a proto-Stone Roses, Badger’s hushed vocals immediately recall Ian Brown whilst the band’s own jingle-jangle morning contain a rough Oasis street-tuff mod edge. Whilst listening to the collection I was in disbelief … how could this band be forgotten about? It truly is a wonder. Mike Badger flames on his best impression of a cosmic scouse Ray Davies. Truly inspiring music.