Tobruk formed in 1980, when guitarist Mick Newman moved from Bedfordshire, UK, to Birmingham, and once there joined forces with vocalist Stuart "Snake" Neil, guitarist Nigel Evans, keyboard player Jem Davis, bassist Steven Woodward, and drummer Alan Vallance. The band began creating demos, one of which got them a spot on BBC's The Friday Rock Show in 1982. This then brought them label interest, and they released a single through Neat Records (Wild On The Run in 1983) before then switching out their rhythm section for newcomers Eddie Fincher on drums and Mike Brown on bass.

The new lineup hit the ground running, and soon enough had an album deal with EMI's Parlophone label. The resulting album, also named Wild On The Run, was released in 1985, and the band went out on tour with Tokyo Blade to promote the album. Things were certainly looking good for the band, but unfortunately things wouldn't stay this good for very long. Tensions between the band and their label drove Snake and Newman to leave the band during the recording of their second album.

With fans desperate to hear more from Tobruk, FM-Revolver bought the master tapes for the unreleased follow up album and released Pleasure & Pain in 1988. Newman and Snake formed another band called Idol Rich, and Snake would eventually join The Wildhearts. Nothing more has been heard of Tobruk since.