OUR county of Essex has a proud musical history.

Believe it or not over the decades the county has nurtured some of the biggest bands and musicians not just Britain, but the world, has ever seen.

Amongst the county's famous former inhabitants there are Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members, Glastonbury headliners and Brit award winners.

Some of the famous bands to hail from the county are so well known and synonymous with Essex you'll instantly know who we're talking about, however, there are many other bands and musicians you might not know hail from the county.

Here are the most famous bands and musicians to come from Essex:

Depeche Mode


The Basildon rockers - who consist of Dave Gahan, Martin Gore and Andy Fletcher, Vince Clarke, Peter Gordeno and Alan Wilder - were inducted by Hollywood actress Charlize Theron last year.

It is one of the highest honours in pop music and Depeche Mode joined the world's most famous musicians by being inducted.

The band has sold millions of albums worldwide and headlined festivals across the globe.



Britpop icons Blur are from Colchester, well at least songwriting duo, lead singer Damon Albarn and guitarist Graham Coxon, first met at Stanway School.

Although rumours have been put out there their smash hit Parklife is about Castle Park, apparently this is not the case.

In 2009 Blur made their live comeback after a decade long hiatus in front of roughly 150 delighted fans at the Easy Anglian Railway Museum, in Wakes Colne, where they played their first ever gig.

This also means we can count Gorillaz as being from Essex too - sort of at least.

The Horrors

Formed in Southend in 2005 the band consists of lead vocalist Faris Badwan, guitarist Joshua Hayward, keyboardist and synthesizer player Tom Furse, bassist Rhys Webb, and drummer and percussionist Joe Spurgeon.

The band have released five studio albums, their latest in 2017, all of which charted within the UK Top 40.

On the release of their last album they went head to head against Southend's Nothing But Thieves who were releasing their second album in the same month - to which guitarist, Josh Hayward said: "It is good to see bands from Southend still coming through".

The Prodigy


One of Essex's biggest success stories musically is definitely The Prodigy.

The band formed in 1990 in Braintree and is the brainchild of keyboardist and songwriter Liam Howlett.

He was joined by the legendary Keith Flint, who lived in the Braintree District up until his death in 2019, and the rest is history.

The band have sold more than 20 million albums worldwide and headlined the world's biggest festivals

Anne Marie


Anne Marie is a chart topping artist and TV star who has appeared on Bake Off and is a judge on The Voice.

The star grew up in East Tilbury - and still has close links to the area.

Earlier this year she held foodbank initiatives at East Tilbury Primary and St Clere's School after teaming up with The Caring Family Foundation.

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Eddie and the Hot Rods

Probably the second most famous band to come from Canvey, Eddie and Hot Rods also arrived on the scene in the 70s.

They are best known for their 1977 UK top ten hit "Do Anything You Wanna Do", released under the name The Rods.

Nothing But Thieves


Formed in 2012 in Southend, the rock band have gone from strength to strength in recent years, achieving huge success in 2020 with the release of their third studio album, Moral Panic.

Their style of music has been compared to the likes of Foals, Civil Twilight, and Royal Blood.



Formed in Basildon in 1981 when Alison Moyet placed an advert in the newspaper looking to start a band.

The duo released two critically acclaimed albums, Upstairs at Eric's and You and Me Both.

Alison of course went on to have a hugely successful solo career.

Olly Murs

Echo: Picture: Steve BradingPicture: Steve Brading

Former X Factor star Olly hails from Witham and still lives in Essex.

After his success on the show he has gone on to have a hugely successful musical career.

His latest tour saw him perform a huge homecoming show in Castle Park in Colchester.


Two members of pop group McFly hail from Essex.

Bassist Dougie Poynter and drummer Harry Judd are from the county.

Dr Feelgood


Formed in 1971 on Canvey Island, the band are legendary in the 1970s pub rock scene.

The group's original distinctively British R&B sound was centred on Wilko Johnson's choppy guitar style.

Hugely influential in the creation of punk rock, a film by Julien Temple about the early days of the band, Oil City Confidential, premiered at the London Film Festival in 2009.

Over the years they've been through a raft of line-up changes but they're still performing in various guises.


The iconic 80s soul singer was born in Nigeria but brought up in Essex from the age of four.

She went on to inspire the likes of Beyonce and Kanye West.