Friday, 26 December 2008

Who were the Proper Charlies?

Perhaps we've all got somewhat irrational dislikes or bugbears in music... one of mine is Black or worse, Jamaican, accents affected by regular white guys. British band UB40 might've been the start of this in my limited musical world, I know Jagger's foolishness on 'Hot Stuff' did nothing to help.

Enough it was to put me right off the headline band at a recent gig to raise money for Strummerville - the Racketeers opened with 'Kingston Soul Beat', complete with exaggerated faux-Jamaican spoken vocals; they were sunk for me. Adding repeated shouts of 'Oi Oi' - echoed enthusiastically by the audience didn't help any; I imagine it's borrowed from Ian Dury, or their own catch-phrase; but it rather raised memories of 'Oi' bands in my & other ears. Gary Bushell makes a staunch, if revelling in the violence, defence of Oi here; but certainly round these parts it never seemed the unifying, multi-racial force that he claims it was. Different bands, different fans maybe... or this blog has it right?.

I only went to see the Good Time Charlies, who were very fine despite the pretty awful sound from the PA which made the bass guitar & bass drum indistinguishable from each other. Jeez, it's a decent sized venue, eight quid a pop for some local bands; is it too much to expect to hear the bloody music properly?.

The Charlies are masters of short,fast garage/punk/dirty rock n roll songs; anything over three minutes is likely a crime against music in their book. Describing themselves as "...The Beatles play the Clash, The Rolling Stones maul the Ramones and The Byrds mangle the Sex Pistols...", I'd say they were more of a less formulaic, melodic English Ramones for the 21st century. Most enjoyable.

GTC are opening for the Datuns in February at the Joiners, which should be a good gig. | Buy GTC music at Amazon | hear more at myspace

Everyone Hates Me The Good Time Charlies

Hot Tub The Good Time Charlies

Everyone Fancies You The Good Time Charlies

What a Waste     Ian Dury           

Trash City Joe Strummer

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