Monday, 17 October 2016

Fear and A Field In England, part two

(Yeah, I know I wrote part one about 37 years ago...)

When I was a kid, I suffered from asthma and bronchitis.  Memories of carefree Summers eating Dalek Death Ray ice lollies and cycling up and down the road on Dobbin, my little gold bike, are frequently interrupted by less palatable recollections.  Those of damp Winters lying in my parents’ bed, short of breath and feverish, being fed spoonfuls of foul-tasting Tedril, a thick yellow medicine that looked a lot like the stuff it was supposed to help me stop coughing up.

My high temperatures led to hallucinations.  Some were innocuous – like reaching out for a non-existent glass of orange juice - but others seemed malevolent.  There was one I remember vividly to this day in which a rotating globe was floating above the foot of the bed.  There were numerical figures all around it, like a dial, and I lay there watching it move in terror as I knew that when a point on the globe met with the number 99, it signified my imminent death.  I probably didn’t think it in those actual words, as I was only 8.  But I knew I was about to die.  In a panic, I called out for Mum and as she calmed me down with her lovely soothing manner the globe went away, but what sticks with me is that I had been awake throughout, not dreaming, and that it could seem so very real, so tangible.

It’s perhaps partly for this reason that (other than a few brief encounters with my college pal’s supply of Red Leb, which didn’t really work for me) I’ve never had any desire to indulge in mind-altering substances. I'm not sure I want to unleash anything else from my darker imagination.

There were plenty of opportunities though.  Behind my college were fields and woods where magic mushrooms grew.  Ray, the best looking lad in my Foundation Art group, ate a load of them before an Art History lecture and laughed all the way through the Pre-Raphaelites.  He left the course soon after, or was he chucked out?  I don’t know, but he went on to play drums for a band fronted by his extrovert brother who, it was reported, would deliberately strip naked before opening the door to Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Anyway, what I’m getting to in a very long-winded way is the film that’s based all around one big magic mushroom trip: A Field In England. 

Or is it?  If you've seen the film, do you think it’s all a hallucination, or subscribe to one idea that the field represents Purgatory and that they’re all dead already?  Or something else altogether?  Did you think it was a masterpiece of surrealist black and white cinematography, or a load of pretentious old bollocks?

Looking through reviews of the film on IMDb, there are some very varied opinions, such as:

‘tedious hype’

‘wow, just wow’

‘a dull plot in England’

‘subversive and fresh’

In case you haven’t seen the film but want to, I won’t say any more except that in an interview with Dangerous Minds, director Ben Wheatley said he thinks “there’s too much reliance and importance put on clarity of narrative and that everything is explained all the time….  Script books seem to me to be written in a way that it’s like stories written by accountants – everything has to have its place, everything has to mean something, it’s very specific, there should be no ambiguity about what something means.”   He continues “… life is not like that, it’s much more complex and ambiguous and difficult, and that interests me more”.  Maybe it's best to bear that in mind before you start viewing.

I didn’t, and I wish I had - but I liked it.  I was immediately reeled in by the dialogue and the imagery, and loved the characterizations and earthy humour; however as this isn’t a film with an easy, coherent storyline it took a little while before I realised that I needed to just let go and let its madness take over.  Then it started to feel like I was watching someone else’s dream - or hallucination. It was only after a few  hours of it finishing that I found myself thinking about it more and more, like some kind of strange creeping infatuation, and for a while I became mildly obsessed by it.

There's one scene in particular that sticks in my mind as vividly as the taste of Tedril and my imaginary rotating death globe.  If you’ve seen it, you’ll know which one it is.   A huge part of its haunting, compellingly abstract power is due to the choice of music behind it, lush, dark, hypnotically cyclical.  This is it (not the scene, I wouldn’t spoil it for you, but the music alone).  It just works so well and every time I hear it now I can see Reece Shearsmith as he.... well....

Blanck Mass is Benjamin John Power, who I'm reliably informed is one of the founding members of Fuck Buttons.

I've also been reliably informed that it sounds a lot like Tangerine Dream’s Mysterious Semblance At the Strand of Nightmares.  That title does kind of sum up the film itself pretty well too.


Trivia note:  I was introduced to one of the very fine actors from this film at my friend’s funeral earlier this year, a lovely man.  It was quite strange to then watch him playing this part having met him for real a few weeks beforehand .   But I must say, I really hadn’t expected to be seeing his character's syphilitic penis ;-)

Friday, 14 October 2016

The song retains the name #2

We were ruminating about reincarnation.  Feeling particularly sorry for myself for reasons I won’t go into except to say it’s a female thing, I said to Mr SDS this morning, “When you come back, don’t be a woman”.

“I don’t think you get to come back as a human again anyway,” he said. 

“Oh, that’d be alright then, I wouldn’t really want to.  Humans think too much.”

“So what would you be?” we both asked the other, simultaneously.

Mr SDS suggested a dog, which might be ok, although I’d worry about not having a kindly owner.  I think I’d prefer to be something wild.

“How about a giraffe?”  he proposed. 

“Bit dodgy with all those lions around."

“Then what about a lion?”

I liked that idea.  At first, anyway.  Then Mr SDS reminded me that it’d be hard work, having to run around killing things all day.

Killing things all day…. not really my cup of tea.  I’d rather not be a carnivore.  How about a mouse?

“With cats tossing you about in the air before eating your head?”  He was right of course.  Not a mouse.

“A fish!” was his final suggestion.   I was pensive for a moment, imagining myself swimming around in the deepest part of the deepest ocean, weaving gracefully between the corals, fins flapping, miles from mankind and land and fishing lines.  It was all very Blue Planet, beautiful. That’s it: a fish.  Yes.

“But not a small fish… you’d get eaten by bigger fish”

“Then I’ll just have to be a big fish.  I won’t mind eating a few smaller ones.”

So that’s it, settled - I want to come back as a big fish.

And fish lead me neatly to today’s Song Retains The Name instalment, wherein I post tracks by a band whose name is also the title of a song by another.   You were worried there, weren’t you, that I might be leading to this man...

but there will be no Marillion on this blog.

I should add that for this series I’m allowing a slight variation in the name/song title if one is pluralised.  I call it the ‘s’ rule.   So we could have the Temptations, and then Heaven 17’s Temptation, for example, and not worry about the 's'.

This allows me to post these:

I can’t remember when I first heard Summer Fun! by the Barracudas, but I don’t remember it from the year of its release, even though it reached No. 37 in the charts at the time (1980) and they made it onto Top Of The Pops.  (Hat tip to my good friend who once made a cool little fanzine called Summer Fun!)

 I do, however, remember playing it in the record shop I worked in a few years later, when sixties beat and psychedelia, both original and revival, seemed to be making a more significant resurgence.  We made sure the shelves were stacked with Nuggets, Nomads, Lime Spiders and Standells, etc. (and I spent most of my wages on them).

This English band were inspired to call themselves the Barracudas after the song by the Standells, which could make my inclusion of the band a bit of an iffy choice as it’s not just a coincidence.  However I discussed this recently with my independent adjudicator and decided to let these through if I like the songs enough.  Therefore I can have both, so here are the Standells and their rather splendid song Barracuda, from 1967 (I think).  Ed Cobb wrote this, as well a number of other tracks for the Standells, but is perhaps most well known for having written Tainted Love.

(I really should have put the Standells before the Barracudas - oh well.)

Friday, 7 October 2016

A quick heads up

Episode 3 of The People's History Of Pop is on BBC Four tonight and I think it's going to be a good one.  Covering the years 1976 - 1985, it includes Ray Lowry's son sharing some of his father's sketches from the time he joined the Clash on their 1979 tour of America and a handwritten notebook of thoughts and lyrics by Joe Strummer.  Fans of the Smiths and Duran Duran share their mementos and memories, and original posters, set-lists and diaries that have been kept by fans for decades will all be on show.

If you saw the first two episodes of this series, you'll know the approach it takes is heartwarming and very unpretentious, and the whole notion of being a fan of any kind of music, group or artist is celebrated as being something most viewers are going to be able to identify with, something that has shaped people's lives.  There's no judgement or elitism, no suggestion that any band or genre is cooler than any other and, best of all, the memories and keepsakes come from source.

I have a particular soft spot for this series too, thanks to this blog, as last year one of their researchers found my post about my first gig and got in touch.  They have set up a vast archiving website which anyone can contribute to, and asked if I'd like to upload my photos and accompanying words on there.  One thing led to another and I was invited to do a proper interview!  I've never had any desire at all to be on TV - in fact, quite the opposite, I'd normally run a mile, maybe ten - so I ummed and ahhed about it but then I thought:  oh what the hell, it's a new experience.  And it's not Come Dine With Me.  Around that time one of my dear friends was very ill, and it was such a distressing period in my life that my sense of needing to make the most of everything was highlighted.  So I did it.  I didn't have a lot to show, just those few old photos (which are on this blog anyway), but I had such a lovely time chatting away to the producers; they were great.  We focused on my early teenage forays into punk, about being female and fourteen and wearing DIY clothes, about getting into trouble at school for spiking up my hair, about how punk was there just when I needed it, how it seemed arty and rebellious, just when I felt I didn't and couldn't fit into the mainstream, it allowed me an identity, a voice and a social scene.  So I jabbered on for two and a half hours and probably made no sense at all but I have to say it really was great fun, and if I had the chance to do the same thing again, I would.

Well, perhaps the best outcome of all is that it didn't make the final cut!  Since doing that back in December the programme makers have found so many far more interesting people and their fascinating mementos and anecdotes, so I can relax tonight and not worry about all the times I repeated myself and said "you know"....and god knows what else.   I'm so looking forward to watching the programme tonight without any self-conscious sense of dread and enjoying all the memories shared by others.

The People's History of Pop is on BBCFour tonight at 9pm.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Caffs, cats and Clangers

The other day a friend from the West Country sent me this fantastic card in the post.

She would be staying in London for a while, cat-sitting, she said - did I have time to get down to the East End? So I made time for a flying visit yesterday.

We met at Liverpool Street, from where she, in her vivid blue jumper and me, in my new bright green coat, took a rainbow-coloured No. 8 bus

to see a large pink stripey cat (not the one my friend is looking after.)

More on that in a minute.

First we stopped at what must surely be one of the most memorable and wonderful East End caffs (or is it a restaurant?  or a greasy spoon?) in the city - E Pellicci.  Everyone is greeted like an old friend, many are old friends - it's no wonder.  Hugs, chat, banter.  Total warmth.  It's noisy, vibrant... just real.  A far cry from the English tea room vibe which proliferates around my locality - sweet as that can be for visits by ageing relatives, sometimes I feel what I can only describe as an underlying sense of uptightness to our rural establishments.  You couldn't get much further from uptight at this place, though.  I had a lovely cuppa and sponge pudding with custard and learned how to say my friend's name with an authentic Italian accent.  Loudly!  The ebullience of our host was contagious. The surroundings are interesting too - beautiful Italian art deco marquetry on the walls had been put in during the 1940s, the old cash till (think Open All Hours) is still in use; the same warm and welcoming family have run this place for over a hundred years on hospitality and home cooking - why change?

After good conversation and a sugar fix, my friend and I dash on up to the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood.

This is where we see Bagpuss... and Professor Yaffle..

... as part of a small, but beautiful, exhibition of the fabulous world of Smallfilms - Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin's creations that are forever lodged in the memories of those of us who spent our childhood in their joyous company.

Bagpuss was a bit after my time - first aired in 1974 - so, lovely as he and his companions are, I didn't get that same special thrill at seeing him.

I got my special thrill from seeing these, ohh! the Pogles!  My favourite!

Look at little Tog on the right.  He was some indeterminate species of animal, sort of squirrel-like with rabbity feet.  Apparently they all had to have weights in their feet to stop them falling over during filming.

"I'll be respectable when I'm dead, Mrs Pogle," says Amos (on the left). "Until then, I'll shout and sing as I like".  Go for it Amos!

The witch was extremely scary, I mean really scary, and even scarier to see pinned up under glass yesterday.  Apparently a number of stories were planned for the witch but were never screened because the BBC thought them too frightening.   I tried to take a photo of her but I think she cursed it as all I ended up with was a nasty black smudge.

If you remember Pogles' Wood, then you'll no doubt recall Noggin the Nog. I love the artwork for this 2-D animation classic.  I'm currently working on a book with human characters (actually Mary, Joseph and their lickle baby, the one that was born on Christmas Day) and, quite coincidentally, I'd recently been looking at some of Peter Firmin's illustrations for inspiration, so it was brilliant to see his work for real.  Look at this wonderful art for the Ice Dragon!

And then of course we have The Clangers.

They were a bit larger than I expected.  Peter Firmin's wife knitted them and apparently some of their space-age clothes were inspired by pictures of Twiggy.

Well yes.

And you can't have Clangers without Froglets, nor the Soup Dragon....

"Don't you remember the Iron Chicken?" I heard a young bearded man say to his friend in disbelief.

Don't you remember the Iron Chicken?!  I couldn't get a good shot of said chicken, but I must say it was lovely to see him again after all these years.

Well, it was good to see them all, after all these years.

Clanger, Bagpuss & Co is on at the V&A Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green, until 9th October.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

The song retains the name #1

Oh dear, another terrible title for a post but, yes: another series!  Here's a game that everyone can play - and probably already has done, many times, in which case sorry for any repetition.  I'm not going to look it up and find out who, where or what results anyone came up with if they did, though, because that would just spoil a planned series as well as my fun - and I need a little excitement in my life.

So, this has been partly inspired by a run of posts over at the excellent blog Charity Chic Music, where our cordial host shared songs which name-checked an artist alongside a track by said artist.  For example, this one.  However, it was also partly inspired by spotting a low flying drone (ugh) hovering over the field on my way to the Post Office the other day.

I saw the drone... mentally stuck two fingers up at it (actually I should have done that for real) and then went on a rambly mind journey because of it, and en route I stopped at the Mancunian punk band the Drones, who I think I've only ever heard on the 'Short Circuit: Live At The Electric Circus' compilation album (nice 10", blue vinyl).  They shared the bill with the Fall and Joy Division, John Cooper Clarke, Buzzcocks and Steel Pulse - very 1978.  Anyway, as the drone in the sky disappeared over the hedge into the Old School car park, my thoughts continued up the musical highway and led straight to a single I'd heard last year by band FIDLAR (trendy capital letters, skate punk genre I believe), as it was indeed entitled Drone.  Does sound a bit like the Drones too, funnily enough.  My next rumination was perhaps only to be expected: the Drones / Drone... oh, I wonder how many other band names also happen to be song titles (and vice versa)?  Surely there must be a few?  So then Charity Chic's series came to mind, but with that being about lyrical name checks hopefully this is different enough not to be considered plagiarism, and could stretch to a few new posts here.

So now I have a couple of notebook pages full of scribbled down band names/song titles that are the same.  I'd love you to play along too if you haven't already exhausted a similar list yourself before - but I'm going to be mean and ask that you please don't tell me what you've come up with... at least not yet...because what has been read can't be unread and remember what I said earlier about excitement?

Now I just hope I can locate the various tracks I want to include, and if I do this series could run into double figures, which will be a first.

Let's kick off!  Here are a couple of obvious ones, but nonetheless they are corkers.  We have Bernard Cribbins with the song 'Right Said Fred' and then of course the band Right Said Fred... with 'I'm Too Sexy'.


But we do have these:

Edwin Starr: War

War: The World Is A Ghetto

(please click on links to play)

Friday, 9 September 2016


I’ve been getting myself all worked up about wasps.  Thankfully I’ve never had a bad experience with them; I was stung once, on the face, when I didn’t realise what was tickling me and I unwittingly rubbed it against my skin.  It was a big shock and hurt like hell, but I got over it quickly and if I was a wasp I’m sure I’d have done the same in the circumstances.

I’d rather keep on-side with these beautiful, fascinating little creatures and I’m always saving them from drowning in the bird bath by fishing them out gently on a leaf.  In return, they’ve kindly decided to nest under the gutter of our single storey kitchen, right next to our back door.  

But it's not their close proximity which is getting to me.  I’ve learned so much about them since they decided to take residence here.   For instance, I hadn’t realised before that the first male wasps you see in the Summer – the drones – don’t even have stings.  Neither do they feed or hunt close to their nest for fear of attracting predators, so they fly off over the rooftops and far beyond to do so.  And neither have they been feeding on the contents of picnic boxes and orange juice all these weeks so far, instead they do their bit for the environment by clearing gardens and agricultural fields of pests like caterpillars and greenfly;  thus they, like all insects, are an incredibly important part of the food-chain – truly beneficial pest-controllers themselves.  So really the wasps and me are co-habiting very peacefully.  Their flight path crosses my daily commuting route to my Shedio – a journey of a few steps I make many times a day - we bump into each other frequently, and neither of us comes to any harm.  I’ll feel the soft touch of one against my face, my bare arms and shoulders, sometimes even in my hair, and then it flies off.  They really aren’t in the least bit interested in me - far too busy.

What concerns me is that the way I think may be out of step with much of the rest of the world.  I guess it's always felt a bit that way, so I’m used to it, but that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with, when you find  your views at odds with the mainstream.  My tolerance of a wasp nest attached to my home possibly makes me appear weird, only one step removed from an old lady who keeps fifty-three  cats in her one-bedroom house and lets them shit all over her furniture. 

At least I’m not completely alone when it comes to giving positive PR to wasps, as well as other creepy, crawly, much-maligned creatures with more than two legs; I’m in the esteemed company of naturalists like Steve Backshall and Chris Packham (who famously let wasps lick jam off his young daughter’s face).   I just don’t have their authority, confidence or charisma to convince others with a more sceptical view to adopt a similar approach.  If only Steve or Chris lived next door (…I would never get any work done).

This would all be less worrying if it wasn't for the fact that the neighbouring house is let out to holiday-makers in the Summer.  Couples come here to relax in the garden and enjoy the peacefulness of the countryside.  I doubt they'd choose to stay right next to a wasp’s nest, one that's very close to their back door too; likewise I can't expect everyone to like it.  Although I can write here like the ambassador for a wasp preservation society, I don’t have faith in myself articulating it in person to a disgruntled guest… my worry is that it’s only a matter of time before I’m confronted.

However, it’s also only a matter of time before the resident wasps all die off naturally, apart from a small number of individual fertilized queens who will depart to quietly hibernate over winter before forming new colonies elsewhere next year.  They will leave an empty nest behind and I can block up the hole without harming a single one.  Sorted – at least in my ideal world.  The problem comes when the dying workers get a bit chippy as their lives come to an end, and seek sustenance from sweet things - the contents of picnic boxes and orange juice -  which will make them act a little drunkenly.  In theory these resident wasps are likely to do their final feeding well away from here, away from their nest, but I'm sure the presence of any tipsy wasps in the neighbour's garden will still be attributed to it.  The flapping arms of panicky people will aggravate them and the risk of stinging becomes a reality and of course I understand the fear of a wasp sting and the concern about allergic reaction.  Theoretically the best thing may be to leave them alone,  adapt and tolerate them for this short period and soon all but the queens will be dead anyway, but that’s quite a difficult point to argue when faced with traditional fears and attitudes.  It seems so much of the time that the human response to something we don't fully understand is to want to destroy it.

So any time now I won't be surprised if I'm asked to “deal with” the wasps - it’s the thought of having to deal with dealing with them which is making me anxious.  I just hope we can all make it through until the last, hazy, natural, dying days of both Summer and wasps, in peace.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Vegan Bonnets to play Bestival!

Umm.  It’s been a while - I'm sorry!   My intention to write something halfway meaningful when I finally got round to actually writing anything at all again has gone to the wall, and it may be a while yet.   Oh, I’ve tried, but the words won’t come.  So instead I’ve been spending half an hour or so of an evening these last few weeks looking for them.  And I found some!  I found them online, in a game of Word Link!   

Maybe you know it, a classic test of one’s linguistic prowess (erm, sort of) based on a grid of random letter tiles…  you just have to connect ones that touch each other to try and form as many words as possible. You can increase your score by using special coloured tiles which pop up in each round too.  Fast as you can go… clicking away… it’s not usually too hard to find plenty of three letter words once you get in the swing of it, but it’s especially good when you can form much longer ones, or use up a pesky Q, J or Z for instance, which have higher values than a run-of-the-mill T or A, etc.  I've also noticed  you can get away with both English/US spellings, slang and expletives (it has to be said, 'wanky' usually scores well).

At the end of three minutes the bell rings, a load of fruit falls out out of the sky and the little monkey in a loincloth looks decidedly happy (maybe you have to be there).  Then you find out which two words scored (a) the most points by value and (b) used the most letters.  Like:

Most valuable word: VEGAN

Longest word: BONNETS

And then if you’re like me, you look at those two words at the end of each game and every now and then you think: ha, that could be the name of a band, and you jot it down in the back of your notebook for no other reason than you just like the sound of it and the thought of a band with that name playing at next year's Bestival, or maybe the Exeter Phoenix.  Next thing you know, you don't really care about your final score any more, you just want to play with your new random band name generator.  I'm reminded of those other name generators - like finding your porn star persona by combining the name of your first pet and your mother's maiden name, and the John Peel band name one I remember reading about - take the name of a charity and follow it with a parent's job.  (Mind Cleaner surely should have really existed?)

Thus several games of Word Link later and according to my notebook, it looks as if the Vegan Bonnets are going to be on the same line-up as a number of other interesting sounding acts, such as:

Zee Queens
Jingo Jingo
Cash Reborn (must be a tribute band)
Vox Quarry
Yeti Diners
Ham Panda
Zen Jello
Quim Slings (sorry, but it let me have that so it counts)

I would book my tickets now...

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Random access memory #4

The Summer of 1978 seemed a strange, transitional time, musically as well as personally.  I’d just turned 15 and punk was rapidly becoming my main thing, but there was so much still at odds with it.   For instance, I was never going to hear it down the little fortnightly disco at the cricket pavilion (unless you counted the Boomtown Rats), yet I still went that Summer, and I still danced.  My friends and I went to see 'Grease'; we wore our Jam badges, we giggled at John Travolta.  It shouldn’t have been our kind of film but there’s no denying, we enjoyed it.  The boys we fancied rode Yamaha FS1Es and only the most daring of them had an ear pierced.   I’d ventured into what seemed like the dark, adult realm of Sex Pistols and safety pins,  but the residue of the pre-punk, blue eye-shadow, strawberry lipgloss, Starsky & Hutch fan still lingered in me and my world.  I owned a plastic belt with the Coca-Cola logo all over it and a razorblade necklace.

Anyway, there was this song.  I really liked it, but the thing was - it wasn’t punk, it was disco.   Disco seemed to be at the opposite end of the spectrum to punk then.  Discos - proper big discos in town, I mean, not our cut price cricket pavilion ones - were full of cliques of mean girls and the sort of blokes who'd beat up anyone in straight trousers.  But still I liked this song - it had a relentless bass-line and a nagging chorus with a lyric that was so not my thing;  we’re gonna boogie oogie oogie ‘til we just can’t boogie no more. 

Haha, do you remember it too?!

Well I’d forgotten all about it until I came across a UK singles chart list from July 1978 the other day and then got mildly obsessed with it and the memories it evoked: Boogie Oogie Oogie (the clue was in the lyric) by A Taste Of Honey.    That week in the charts, You’re the One That I Want was No 1,  and the Smurf Song was No. 2.    A few places down there was quite a diverse mix of artists, in fact it seems weird to think of it now as I wouldn't have remembered them being in the same timeframe: James Galway, Showaddywaddy, Lindisfarne, Boney M, Renaissance, ELO.   Then further down – in the 30s -  it got really quite cool and definitely up my street with Buzzcocks, Sham 69, Xray Spex and Steel Pulse.  With all that going on, Boogie Oogie Oogie was not a song I “should” have favoured at all.

But memories of it, like so many things, are inextricably linked to the personal landscapes they inhabit, and I can’t separate this song from a week in July 1978 spent in Sussex on a Geography field trip with my school year.   Like something from the (wonderful) Please Sir! film, it was that peculiar marriage of school life and away-from-home freedom.  It was a week of giggling fits (those truly painful ones, when your lungs feel as if they're going to burst through your ribcage), of  bags of Chipsticks smuggled in satchels for midnight feasting, of sneaking out of places we should have been and sneaking into places we shouldn’t, the covert smoking of Rothmans in the woods, ghost stories and glow-worms, packed lunches and sunburn, and seeing teachers drinking beer. Well, you know, I’m sure.   

Boogie Oogie Oogie always seemed to be playing on the little radio my schoolgirl friends and I took into our accommodation block, a long wooden chalet with greasy windows.  It was next door to one with German students, both male and female, who reportedly wandered around in it with no clothes on and weren’t embarrassed.  Oh, those liberal Europeans!

That month, I bought Buzzcocks Love You More.  I’d never have bought Boogie Oogie Oogie

What I didn’t realise at the time, though, was just how cool the two front women from A Taste Of Honey were.  The single peaked at No. 3 in the charts here, and while I remember hearing it all the time I don’t recall ever seeing any footage of them - I'm sure I’d have been so chuffed to see them play their guitars.   So, finding this performance below was quite a treat, even if it is nearly 40 years too late.  That smiling confidence, the fast funky bass, the bendy guitar solos (there’s a kind of Isley Brothers sound coming out of that Stratocaster).  Even if you don’t like the song, I promise you the way they play their instruments is a joy to watch.  

Plus they were right, lyrically - weren't they?!

If you're thinkin' you're too cool to boogie
Boy, oh boy, have I got news for you
Everybody here tonight must boogie
Let me tell ya, you are no exception to the rule.

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