Headless Chickens were a five-piece melodic punk band from Exeter, England, comprising at various times Thom Yorke (guitar and vocals), Simon "sHack" Shackleton (bass and vocals), John Matthias (violin), Laura Forrest-Hay (violin), Martin Brooks (drums), Andy Hills (bass) and Lindsey Moore (drums), they were well known on the Exeter punk scene in 1989. In June 1989 they released their first single, "I Don't Want To Go To Woodstock", on the Hometown Atrocities EP, along with tracks from three other bands (Beaver Patrol, Jackson Penis and Mad At The Sun). This is believed to be Thom Yorke's first ever released recording, on which he played lead guitar and sang backing vocals.
The Headless Chickens performed to packed out houses in and around Exeter during this period, including acclaimed solo shows and supporting acts such as Eat and De La Soul.
Their "poly-sensual" shows often involved avant-garde visual experimentation, with the occasional bizarre act of total nudity.
While he was in Headless Chickens, Yorke's earlier band, On A Friday, was mostly in a state of suspended animation; after he left Exeter, On A Friday restarted, eventually becoming Radiohead. Headless Chickens mutated into the techno-influenced Flickernoise (led by Shackleton) who later changed their name to Lunatic Calm in 1996.