Non-Rodents in the new band included bassist Paul "Mac" MacAllister, guitarist Stephen Jessup (ex-Rough Justice), vocalist Marion Spencer and saxophonist Peter Famularo.
The players that remained from The Rodents were guitarist John McDougall (guitar, vocals), John Niland (keyboards), Andrew Cross (drums), Andrew Clouston (sax) and David Armstrong (trumpet). Early formative jams included Chris Green on sax but he left and Andrew Clouston took his place. With the former Rodents vocalist Peter Marshall living in Auckland, the Wellington Rumours column in Rip It Up (March 1982) speculated, “Will The Hulamen move to Auckland to join Peter Marshall or will he move to Wellington to join them?”
For their live show, The Hulamen added female dancers "The Hulettes" and mover and shaker, Ronny Pelicano (aka Tim Robinson). When it came time to record, the band did tracks at Radio New Zealand with Tony Burns, and added Peter Marshall as a guest vocalist on 'Barking Up The Wrong Tree' and 'Bulls to Texas'. Marion Spencer sang lead on 'Underground' (Burns was assisted in the production process by The Hulamen and their soundman Nigel Stone). The sessions produced three multi-track recordings and live-in-the-studio takes – 'Barking Up The Wrong Tree', 'Working For A Living' and 'Underground'.
The band then went to Marmalade Studio where Ian Morris recorded (and produced with The Hulamen) 'Start A Fashion' and 'Beer And Skittles'. John McDougall sang lead on these tracks and 'Fry Up' that was “recorded in a big room.”
The first pressing of the seven-track Beer & Skittles mini-album was distributed independently by John Niland on the EELman label but for national distribution, Jayrem took over the manufacture and sales for EELman. Rip It Up (November 1982) gave the recording a very positive review but noted, “Pity The Hulamen have gone their separate ways.” Because of their early demise, the review (which I wrote) turned out to be the only substantial coverage the band received in Rip It Up:
"A diverse and loveable document from the Wellington aggregation with the fabulous RWP video clip. Many of the players featured in the Rodents who ventured north two years ago, as did Peter Marshall who guests on two songs: the standout, 'Barking Up the Wrong Tree' (exceptional vocal track) and 'Bulls ot Texas'. Though the regular Hulamen vocalists are weak in places, the platter succeeds by virtue of its soulful playing and sympathetic production - strident horns, keyboards and bass are cleanly on the vinyl. Pity Hulamen have gone their separate ways. Beer and Skittles is a must for fans and a pleasureable experience from afar."
David Armstrong - trumpet
Andrew Clouston - tenor sax, baritone sax
Andrew Cross - drums
Peter Famularo - tenor sax, alto sax, congas
Stephen Jessup - guitar
Paul "Mac" MacAllister - bass
Marion Spencer - vocals
John McDougall - guitar
John Niland - piano, organ, clavinet