The core of The Shapes was made up of non-too-serious effluvia that was discharged from certain local public school. The band was active between the years 1977 to 1981. During this brief career they released two singles, the first being the Part of the Furniture EP on their own Sofa Records label in early 1979, which featured perhaps the most memorable songs that the band composed, namely Wot's for Lunch, Mum? (Not Beans Again) and (I saw) Batman (In the Launderette). This record sold in excess of 10,000, was given extensive airplay on the radio, and earned the band a session for the John Peel Show on BBC Radio One. Some critics credit The Shapes as having been the founders of a sub-genre of punk known as "punkpathetique" and it is certainly true that the band deliberately steered a course away from the proselytising and semi-politics of the punk bands that had preceded them. In his lyrics Seymour Bybuss wrote about the general silliness of life. In his febrile imagination, the world was one big comic cartoon, to which he added a supporting cast of freaks, aliens and superheroes.