Monday, January 23, 2006

Trumpton riots

Liberal England reveals itself to be a follower of the greatest band to emerge from the Wirral – the excellent Half-man half-biscuit. They emerged in the 1980s with a brand of semi-satirical songs that dwelt on the ennui of life on the dole spent watching daytime TV, most notably the famous 'Trumpton riots' ep. They famously twice refused television appearances because the recording clashed with Tranmere Rovers home matches.

HMHB have made a bit of a comeback in recent years, carrying on with excellent punning album titles: 'Trouble over Bridgewater' and 'Cammel Laird Social Club', the latter released at the time the Buena Vista Social Club film was all the rage. Their latest album Achtung Bono has got very good reviews such as this one.

Word magazine included one of its tracks on a free CD a few months ago. Entitled 'For what is Chatteris?' it eulogised the merits of a Cambridgeshire market town:

Car crime's low, the gun crime's lower/ the town hall band CD- it's a grower. You never hear of folk getting knocked on the bonce/ although there was a drive by shouting once

before going on to lament 'What is Chatteris if you're not there?'.

Anyway, Half-man Half-biscuit are this week's recommendation in my quest to convert my fellow Lib Dem bloggers to the cause of obscure but great music.


Bridgford said...

Macc Lads: "No Sheep 'til Buxton"

(IIRC this was released around the same time as the Beastie Boys' "No Sleep 'til Brooklyn")

Angus J Huck said...

Probably one of the best short songs is TXORIA TXORI, writen by J J Artze and sung by Mikel Laboa (a consultant psychiatrist and folk singer in his spare time):

Hegoak ebaki banizkion
Nerea izango zen
Ez zuen aldegingo
Bainan honela
Ez zen gehiago txoria izango
Eta nik txoria nuen maite

If I had cut its wings
It would have been mine
It would not have flown away
But then
It would have been a bird no longer
And it was the bird that I loved

I have recordings of Martin Carthy, Liam O'Flynn, Marta Sebestyen and quite a few others singing in the langauge which is the heritage of all Europeans.