Wednesday, April 25, 2012

1980: The feeling that I get from you

Bad Manners: The Love Songs. That would be a short album, wouldn't it?

When their long-forgotten hit Lorraine turned up on my ipod today, I was reminded that when they're being serious - or at least semi-serious - they're on a par with any of the great bands, those songs comfortably sitting among the pantheon of classics. All memories of their novelty past that has come to overshadow how they're thought of today are soon banished.

I have a major thing for Special Brew, a song that never fails to move me. Why it's so moving I couldn't say. Perhaps it's the key it's in, but it gets me in this video at about the 1.10 mark, and it doesn't let me go. But look, even here Buster Bloodvessel's in a grass skirt in a rocking chair. If you didn't know about the band you'd only heard this song you'd not think they'd be doing the Can-Can throughout the summer of the following year, would you, or silly covers of My Girl Lollipop, a song I dislike with every fibre of my being.

That said, I'm a huge Can-Can fan, and I've time for many of their other hits like Lip Up Fatty all the way through to Samson & Delilah and those songs that got sillier and siller and which barely troubled the charts. Nice to see they're still going strong though. I'd have put money on Buster Bloodvessl not making it into the Noughties.

This song does take me back to the depths of autumn of 1980, and to me it's always a dark evenings/cold weather song. It gives me a chill, in a nice way. It's quite beautiful. Shame about that fast bit at the end which slightly takes the shine off it, but you can't have everything.

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  1. Bad Manners were *so* important to me as a seven year old. They, along with Shakin' Stevens, were one of the acts that were attractive, through their name and frivolity, to kids of my age who didn't yet understand fully what pop music was about. My mum and dad even bought me a Bad Manners LP, the one that had a white plain background with a cartoon of Buster at the mic, tongue out, on the front. It's still in my loft.

    I remember Buster in his grass skirt and rocking chair doing Special Brew, and singing the easy-to-pick-up chorus to Helen Cawthorne in the school playground the next day. When he dressed as Henry VIII for Lorraine I thought that was fabulous, and I acquired a liking for Just A Feeling after it appeared on K-Tel's Chartblasters 81.

    They did a Christmas Buzzcocks a few years back to play the intros round, didn't they? Buster had lost all his weight. Remember when Margate FC, the non-league club he supports, got to the first round of the FA Cup? He was all over the papers again. The band had previously been the club's shirt sponsors, something I think only Wet Wet Wet have done before.

  2. Bad Manners Can Can - is the taste of Merrydown or Triple Vintage cider at youth club discos. Do you remember Buster on this Flexipop cover

  3. I'm with you on being amazed that Buster didn't keel over and have a massive aneurism some time in 1988, JP. I'm glad he's still around here and there, still being a bit silly.

    And all little boys loved him unconditionally back then. It was the rule. I hope Helen Cawthorne appreciated the tender sentiment being expressed by Matthew.