News Biography Discography Shop Expandis Expandibubble Media Links
News Biography Discography Shop Expandibubble Expandism Expandibubble Links


EXPANDIS were formed in 1980 by Phil Thornton, John Wilde and Dave Miller. Phil and John had previously both been in progressive rock band 'Stallion' (1976 Melody Maker rock contest winners based in Hastings with a loyal following on the UK circuit). Dave was also in a progressive rock band with Phil, 'Minotaur' (played as support for the 'Enid' and featured Glen Baker, who, among other talents, was a highly respected classical guitarist who also toured with the Enid).

In 1979 Phil had also played with electronic pioneers 'Naked Lunch' which, along with his first electronic based release on the 'Bugle' label (Feeling Sheepish : Some of my best friends are Canadians) became the inspiration for forming 'Expandis'. The band's first album, 'I'm not waving, I'm drowning', was recorded at home using minimal equipment. Initially sold at gigs on cassette it was taken up by 'Underground Music' who distributed it across the UK and Europe via the 'post punk' independent scene. In 2007 this album was remastered and released online. In 2011 it was released as a 30th anniversary collectors CD. The band played regular gigs and festivals in the South of England while recording their 2nd album 'The Complete Home Expandis' released on cassette in 1982 and sold at gigs and through alternative outlets in London and the southeast.

The Band often appeared at this time with the 'Foxx' dance troop as well as many guest appearances from extra musicians and performers ( mime artists, actors, artists etc.)

Around this time Phil Thornton produced his first solo album,"Flying' which was sold at gigs in cassette form under the 'Expandis' banner ! - (Phil has gone on to create 50+ albums with worldwide sales of over 2 million albums.)

In 1983 the band signed a record deal with Elton John's label 'Rocket Records'. The first single 'Mystic Man' gained airplay on Radio 1 and Radio Caroline but sadly there was a hold up at the pressing plant so when the record finally reached the shops the momentum had passed. John Peel played both sides of the single and Kid Jenson had the band playing a live session as well as repeats of 'I am the Tadpole' from the sessions. A live appearance on the 'Coast to Coast' TV show was followed by numerous interviews and plays on local radio shows.

A video was recorded of a live performance at the 'Fridge' night club in Brixton, London with the line up expanded for the occasion with Faye Wright on vocals. This video was released in Japan by Toshiba under the title 'Heatwave' London : Expandis ! A second single 'My Love' was recorded and due for release when the managing director of Rocket Records unexpectedly left his job and was replaced with a new team who insisted on a name change for the band which met with so much resistance that the band and label parted company which ultimately resulted in the band members calling it a day and going their separate ways!

John relocated to the USA and started up an interior design business in LA.

Dave and Phil carried on for a short time with Faye Wright on lead vocals, Instrumental tracks were recorded for the 'First Quest' Dungeons and Dragons project which led on to London based company 'Filmtrax' commissioning Phil to record his first commercially released solo album 'Cloud Sculpting' for the 'Colors' instrumental series which went on to be released in the USA and Japan the following year (1987)

During 1986 Phil also recorded another solo album 'Edge of Dreams' at the Enid's residential studio in Suffolk ( The Lodge ) which was released by New World Music Ltd in 1986. the success of this release in particular led to a long standing relationship with NWM Ltd with over 50 solo albums and collaborations to date.

With the band winding down live activity Dave also relocated to the USA and pursued a new career in industrial software development ! ( In recent times Dave has been able to join in recording sessions via the internet !)

Alongside Phil's solo albums for NWM Ltd he has also been involved with many collaborations, most notably working with Hossam Ramzy* since 1996 ( 4 album releases, including the best selling, award winning title 'Immortal Egypt' as well as 3 compilation albums ) * Hossam is best known for his work with 'Page and Plant', Peter Gabriel and The Gypsy Kings etc.

Since 1988 Phil has also worked with legendary UK Psychedelic/Space Rock band 'Mandragora' ( playing Synthesisers and Co - producing ) as well as playingkeyboards for Sinead O' Conner on her 1988 World Tour !

In 2007 with renewed interest in the band (and the arrival of John back in the UK) a compilation album 'Living Like This..' was released online alongside 'I'm not waving, I'm drowning'. Both albums ended up being released as 30th anniversary CD's in 2011.

In 2012 John and Phil decided to revive the band as a 2 piece collaborating with Dave (based in the USA) via the internet. More synthesisers were added to the backing with Phil taking on more guitar duties live !! At this time a new character appeared - 'Psychomouse' ! (John's new stage persona, a cross between Mickey Mouse and a deranged circus clown !) An EP, 'Rise' was prepared to sell at gigs and promote the new direction. A period of live performances, videos and studio recording followed.

in 2015 John had to leave the UK calling a halt, once again to Expandis' as a viable 'live' act. This situation did however leave the new album 'ALL WE HAVE IS NOW in the can and ready for mixing (based on new material from the live set, new versions of old favourites and some material from the 2013 EP !) in 2016 this album was finally released alongside a remastered CD version of the 2nd album The Complete Home Expandis.

All text on this page is COPYRIGHT FREE please feel free to copy this text anywhere you like!

All We Have Is Now

The Complete Home Expandis

Not Waving I'm Drowning

Living like this

Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun

Feed it in

Born from the frustrations of the traditional 'band' line up Expandis was my response to many near misses with groups during the late 70s.

Inspired by punk / new wave / experimental bands such as the brilliant New York innovators 'Suicide' and the more mainstream 'Talking Heads' as well as the obvious 'Kraftwerk', 'D.A.F.' and 'Yellow Magic Orchestra' connection.

A high energy live show with no weak links coupled with a desire to break down some boundaries with the lyrics and music.

We soon gained a following of like minded conspirators and for the next 3 years worked on all sorts of projects including - performance events, dance parties, graphic novels, videos, magazines, festivals and role playing sound tracks(!) at one point we even signed up with Rocket Records (Elton John's label) to have a stab at commercial success!!

In retrospect I think we can safely say we were at least 10 years too early and probably picked the wrong planet!


  • John Wilde - vocals,lyrics,percussion,wall climbing,presence,graphics etc..
  • Phil Thornton - synth,guitar,vocals,tapes etc..
  • Dave Miller - guitar,vocals,lyrics,keyboards etc..

A list of known conspirators:

  • Faye Wright - vocals.
  • Kym Guest - vocals,lyrics, - offshoot band (P.M.T.) and (some of my best friends are canadians)
  • Kay Sobolewski - dance, vocals, lyrics, - offshoot band (P.M.T.)
  • Keith Bradshaw - fret-less bass and strange bass.
  • Roger Carey - bass guitar.
  • Grant Young - fretless bass.
  • Terry Pack - fretless bass.
  • Dinesh - percussion.
  • Jamie Lane - drums.
  • Steve Demetri - drums.
  • Andy Maybe - electric drums / percussion.
  • Minn - saxophone.
  • Joe Rytlewski - blue guitar.
  • James Board - electric guitar
  • Jo Brooks - Hammond Organ
  • Karen Cousens - dance, choreography (Foxx)
  • Bridget Blundel - dance (Foxx)
  • Wendy Langridge - dance (Foxx)
  • Vicky Baker - dance (Foxx)


  • I'm not Waving I'm Drowning - 1981 / 2007
  • The Complete Home Expandis - 1982 / 2016
  • Flying - 1983
  • Living like this - 2007
  • All We Have Is Now - 2016
  • The Complete Home Expandis - 2016


  • Mystic Man - 1983
  • My Love - 1984
  • Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun - 2011
  • Feed it in - 2011


  • I'm not Waving I'm Drowning (with Foxx) - T.V.S. (coast to coast)
  • My Love - T.V.S. (coast to coast)
  • Heatwave (Live at the Fridge) - Toshiba
  • 'expandibubble (youtube channel)
Expandis Group Shot

"ElectroHuman rock from the ongoing TimeBubble show by the legendary cult band Expandis"

Looking back into what is traditionally referred to as the past gives a clarity not readily available during events. Many paths both individual and collective can be seen to either run in parallel, off into the distance or across each other and the reason for certain 'coincidences' becomes clearer.

Various musical collaborations rose up, flowered and withered but not before pollinating the next one in the series.

We were wind-borne seeds, planted, germinated and reincarnated in various gardens, each one richer than the last. As each garden was preparing for its winter we were introduced to a seed for the next one, finally creating the hybrid Expandis. As the name implies, the concept could swell to envelop anyone of a like mind/heart/soul who came along - dancers, clowns, performance artists, vagrant musicians, hecklers, participants and observers.

Performances ranged from small clubs to large open-air festivals, performance events to regular rock circuit gigs! One thing is certain, no two gigs were alike. Anything could, would and often did happen. Appearances on TV and radio were known to occur but live performance was the crucial medium, especially in the Expandibubble studio ( a spare room ) where much music was translated from wherever it originates and spontaneous combustion was the norm.

Home videos exist showing slices of visions as do albums that were recorded in the Bubble and many unreleased sonic experiments that only saw the light on-stage. The music has aged well because of the timeless elements of spontaneity, imagination, tension and heart, of which there was plenty.

The 'core' members are now rarely on the same continent but communicate through various appliances and the threat of reunion is always there. The garden still exists but the weeds have grown, and you can't find a gardener when you want one.

Is the world ready for Expandis.... are we ready for the world?

Dave Miller, Chicago, U.S.A. 2001