Bow Wow Wow are an English 1980s new wave band, created by Malcolm McLaren. The group’s music has been described as new wave, pop and worldbeat,characterized by an “African-derived drum sound”.
In 1980, McLaren persuaded guitarist Matthew Ashman, drummer David Barbarossa (also known as Dave Barbe) and bassist Leigh Gorman, all then members of Adam and the Ants, to leave the founder of the band, Adam Ant, and form a new group.After a six-month audition process for a lead singer, the band enlisted Annabella Lwin. David Fishel, an acquaintance of McLaren’s, discovered 13-year-old Lwin while she was working a Saturday job at her local dry cleaners.
The group’s sound was a mix of her “girlish squeal,” chants, surf instrumentals, pop melodies and Barbarossa’s Burundi ritual music-influenced tom-tom drum beats.