Title: Singing in the Showers b/w Elevator Crush/ By-Products
Catalogue Number: NMC 010
Review Format: 45
Release Year: 1980
Sometimes you hear a song and a whole raft of memories come flooding back to you. Plundering the Vinyl Vault once more brought this single from Fun 4 back to the turntable. It makes an interesting example of independent music back in Glasgow in 1980 too. Without technology and only the influences of the original (and short lived) punk scene in London to guide them, bands in Glasgow jumped onboard a bandwagon that they had actually created. This was more like garage music than what is generally understood as punk music but nonetheless it worked even when viewed from over 25 years in the future.
It was not an entirely random selection, by the way. By some chance, Bluesbunny met up with a sound engineer whilst reviewing and it turned out that said sound engineer actually knew the Bluesbunny from back in the days. As the beer (like the memories) flowed, a whole host of names entered the conversation. The short violent guy (currently a project manager for a telecoms company) who threw the bass player of the UK Subs off a PA stack. A slight disagreement with the Rezillos (or were they the Revillos at that time) whilst working security at a Glasgow venue over the appearance fee. The characters we knew then like the manager of a certain local band and his near psychotic predilection for non prescription medication and sexual deviation. The deranged drunkards that we worked with who later turned up as taxi drivers or perhaps even the guy that hired the PA to us even though he seemed to have only one pair of trousers. Black leather ones at that. Think that the short violent one hit him at some point as well. The bands we heard and the beer we drank. Glorious days.
Enough of the reminiscences. We now have a tenuous link. Mentioning James King & the Lone Wolves leads us straight into the Fun 4 (James King played guitar in that band) so we can do a review.
In these days of political correctness, it is hard to imagine any band even considering releasing a song called "Singing in the Showers". The powers that be would bring the full force of mediocrity on to the band concerned. The story at the time was that this was THE song that got punk banned in Glasgow. In retrospect it does not seem that much of a shocker but including lyrics like "There's a lovely surprise in the showers" and reprising "Deutschland Uber Alles" in the middle was just asking for trouble. Dedicating the song to Simon Weisenthal would not really have helped matters as the powers that be filled their pants with the brown stuff. You can just hear them panicking as they completely failed to notice that this was a song and not an AK47.
On the flipside were another couple of songs that pretty much got forgotten. "Elevator Crush" was a suitably nihilistic song straight out of the punk playbook that exuded rebellion and hopelessness. The band were young boys so this could be seen as an update to standard rock and roll sentiments and was distinguished by the angry guitar riffs from James King (known as Jimmy Loser at the time but, of course, later of James King & the Lone Wolves). "By-Products" seems lightweight and unfocussed but is a decent enough piece of Glasgow flavoured punk.
There were not many copies of this single pressed so it is not easy to come by i.e. it will cost you a lot to acquire it via EBay. It has not made an appearance on any compilations as far as the Bluesbunny can determine (nor do we know what happened to NMC Records). There were some bootleg copies of the single about and they were quite convincing. You should try and hear this as independent music was a whole different ball game then.
March 25, 2008
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