That seminal hit from Ian Drury and the Blockheads still rings in my head as much as it did over 35 years.
The sight of Drury and his band acted as a standard bearer for a musical counter culture to the pretty stuff that my parents,and maybe your parents listened to on a Saturday night.
The man,the nearest thing that Britain ever got to a real musical port offered a counter narrative to the pseudo crap that was fed people during the Thatcherite era.
Drury had a way with words,with metre,with Rhythm.
His album “New Boots and Panties” with its serial number seez 4 sold in ur shop like rock cakes.
I loved the man.I loved that he had a message,and he wasn’t afraid to say things as he saw them.
Like Sadie Smith said . “I write because I don’t want to sleep walk through life”. Drury never ever did that.
His disability through Polio was there for all to see,but that didn’t stop him.His band,”The Blokheads were one of the most tightest men who played at that time,and are still doing it now.
You know,I can still remember the words to their songs so vividly.Its like as if he swallowed a dictionary,only to regurgitate all the best words and put them in order for the people to make Sense of.
If you ever get any time ,try the following songs. “What a Waste”, “Wake up,and my Love to me”, “Clever Trevor”,
I remember thinking that if Drury had been from the states,he would have been revered like Gill Scott Heron.
Nowadays,it’s even tougher for young creative people to ,are their mark on our culture,let alone counter culture.
Ian Drury was disabled,and if he was alive today,he would probably be shafted by IDS,and his DWP.There wouldn’t be an enterprise allowance for them,they would be screwed.
So,next time you see a kid in the street singing his songs,give him a break,cos your the only one who might that day.
Use the web,find the Poets,the artists,and the musicians that really make up our society.
Drury allowed us all to be Hit with his Rhythm stick.
I will stand up for any human who has something to say,especially if their start in life might have been tough.
Don’t ignore the creative ones in your midst.Seek them out,you won’t regret it.
“In the Dark of Tiger Bay,on the Road to Mandlelay”
Miss you Ian.