You Live And Learn. At Any Rate, You Live.

Sheesh, those last few posts became a little definitive. Giving out about good friends, about much admired, recently passed, artists, means that getting it right is more important than amusing myself by confecting a couple of pithy, pungent but hilarious sentences about a tune I like. It’s been belt & braces, everything triple checked for verisimilitude, so slowing the flow. I love doing these music & memories, The response from those that drop by & from those I write about is an absolute groove. But y’know not everything has to be handed down, carved on tablets of stone. In the words of one of our great poets…”I’m gonna get stoned and run around. All aboard for Funtime”.

The Lovely Eggs had me when they  rhymed “accordian” with Richard Brautigan” in “Have You Ever Heard a Digital Accordion ?”. Holly’s  Gracie Fields/dolly girl next door thing is going to catch your attention, that literary nod is as good as a wink that there’s more to this group than  a “We’re right daft us” shtick. With husband David on drums the Lovely Eggs are a reverse White Stripes with that similar lo-fi ramshackle punk attack. It can get a little twee (“I Collect Snails”) but the videos of them wandering around the arcades & launderettes of faded seaside resort Morecambe are (sorry, I am unable to circumvent this word) charming. Cameos from producer Gruff Rhys &, in this clip, John Shuttleworth add value. In fact, in a previous life, Mr Shuttleworth had a hit record with a naive punk romantic comedy record back when he was Jilted John. Check for the Eggs, their songs blast along, Holly Ross is indeed lovely, there’s a single called “Fuck It” ! However…”Don’t look at ‘im cos he’s got a sausage roll thumb”.

Right then. If it’s energetic punky fun that’s needed then we had better get the Rezillos round. Eugene Reynolds & Fay Fife fronted this clutter of 70s glam, 60s girl group, 50s sci-fi movies & new wave noise. In 1977 the band went from being a good laugh in an Edinburgh pub to signing with Sire, a label which, naturally, was gonna make them a star. Their only LP “Can’t  Stand the…” is a good one. When they clattered around a TV studio promoting the 45s they had the same rush & push as the Buzzcocks & the other new groups. “(My Baby Does) Good Sculptures” was only a B-side. The low-rent B-52isms, the manic mood, did not really connect & convert into record sales but remember the Rezillos ? Yeah…you’re smiling.

It didn’t last. We had an extended musical sci-fi video the band made. It was predictably chaotic & never going to make the label’s money back. They left Sire, split the original line up & became the Revillos. Guitarist/writer Jo Callis had watched & learned. He went on to fame (& hopefully fortune) with the revitalized Human League. I met Fay Fife at a wedding some time later, lovely person, not at all mad.

The Leyton Buzzards, “Saturday Night (Beneath the Plastic Palm Trees)”, classic one almost-hit wonders. After a DIY punk single “19 & Mad” & a Battle of the Bands win they too got a big label deal. David Jaymes &  Geoff Deane were plastic punks & big time wannabes, the leather jackets & the attitude were back in the wardrobe. No matter, “Saturday Night” is a little gem. A funny & accurate memoir of young North East Londoners making their way from the youth club to the Tottenham Royal dance hall for a proper big boys night out. It’s a suedehead night out, a soul & ska night, Eddie Holman, the Skatellites, Lovely.

“Saturday Night” made just #53 in the charts. A couple more 45s for Chrysalis were less successful. The Buzzards morphed into Modern Romance, a salsa pop band about which I know little & that’s quite enough thank you. Deane wrote “You Think You’re A Man ” for Divine & a lot of bad TV, The star of the show, the Tottenham Royal, where the Dave Clark 5 started in the 1960s , “heaven in the Seven Sisters Road”, was left stranded & was demolished in 2004.