Punk duo Slaves announce return to music with a new name, Soft Play

UK band Slaves, now renamed Soft Play
(Image credit: Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

English punk duo Slaves have announced their return to music under a different band name: Laurie Vincent and Isaac Holman's band will now be known as Soft Play. 

In a post shared on their social media channels on December 9, the Kent duo said they recognise that their original name was “an issue”, and stated “We want to sincerely apologise to anyone we’ve offended.”

The statement reads: “Until now, we've not been able to comment on what's going on with the band, as life-changing events have left us on hiatus, just trying to get through each day. There were times over the last few years when we never thought we would ever step foot on a stage together again. However we feel that the time has now come to pick up where we left off. Before we do that though, we want to address something important.

“When we called our band Slaves, it was intended solely as a reference to the grind of day to day life. As younger men, we responded to criticism of the name from a place of fear and defensiveness. Feeling backed into a corner, our own pride caused us to fight for a name we weren’t even sure we wanted anymore. It felt at times as if our band name had defined us and we were scared of what might happen if we changed it.

“However we now recognise that our original intent doesn’t change the fact that the name Slaves is an issue. In this day and age we believe it is very important that people change and make improvements no matter how far down the line they are. The name doesn’t represent who we are as people or what our music stands for any longer. We want to sincerely apologise to anyone we’ve offended.

“We are aware that people have differing opinions on the name, we hope you can accept and respect our decision and not continue the argument among yourselves. When it comes down to it, the music and the community surrounding our band are what matter the most and we don’t want anything to stand in the way of that community being as inclusive as possible. Our music is for anyone and everyone.

“With that being said, we are very happy to be back together again and are excited for what the future holds. 

“Our new name is SOFT PLAY.

Love Laurie and Isaac Xxx”

The duo made a surprise return to the stage last week, guesting with Bob Vylan at their December 3 show at the Electric Ballroom in London. 

On Twitter, Bob Vylan reacted to the duo's return with a tweet stating 'The boys are back!'

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.