Bad Manners On Tour 2011

The History of Bad Manners

The music that informed the Manners sound…

No Expense SparedEarly influences on the band were the jump and jive sounds of the 40's and 50's. Artists like Louis Jordan (Caldonia) and Napoleon Brown (Don't be Angry) were as important as those who wrote on the grander form such as Offenbach and who would help the boys reach the top of the charts in 1981 (Can-Can). The boys were taken by film and TV soundtrack sounds and soon opened gigs with The Magnificent Seven. At one point, they had even considered performing the Star Trek and Fireball XL5 themes in their set. Surreal nonsense informed the talents of the group and the Bonzo Dog Band (late 1960's super loonies) had a heavy bearing on Mr Trendle and his chums. Alan Sayagg had an enormous record collection and it featured many important sounds that would one day influence his harmonica playing as well as the band's overall sound. It included the work of American blues master Sonny Boy Williamson II, The J Geils Band and many kiddie discs top of which was Scruffy, the Huffy Chuffy Tugboat, a happy little song that eventually made it onto the final track of the band's first album Ska'N'B in 1980. Douglas Trendle was even into Euriah Heep while Martin Stewart loved Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band. Chris Kane loved Bill Haley and His Comets and listened to little else for most of the time he was in the band, aside from apre Ski music while Andrew Marson was a Charlie Parker fan. Incidentally, among other things, Kane went on to perform with the Jordanairres - Elvis Presley's vocal group who continue to work today. Many moons after the King passed on. Chris Kane was the sole member of the band who could read music and his apprenticeship had been served with the Gerry Cottle circus band among other things, when he had completed solos for the magic show and the arrival of the elephants in the pre-PC days.

Names, aliases and assumed stage identities

Bad Manners' members loved taking on new names and identities. The Scottish Stuck in the Mountains Coloradofringe actor and story smith Ivor Cutler had appeared as Mr Buster Bloodvessel in the surreal Beatles' movie Magical Mystery Tour. Doug Trendle liked the name and assumed its useage in the later 1970's, just before the band went big. Louis Cook became Louis Alphonso after the famous SKA legend Roland Alphonso. Alan Sayagg became Winston Bazoomies (!) and was basically out of control, mad and wild on stage and off. David Farren was Reggy Mental (!) before he became David Farr-In. Brian Tuitt was now simply Chewit while Andy Marson was Marcus Absent and Chris Kane was 'Crust.' Martin Stewart was Mr Bogingong at one point…

The early Manners circuit - charity lads and yellow/black tape…

It was with their unique sounds and names in tow that the band took to the pubs and clubs of London in the late 1970's. Venues such as the Green Man amongst others witnessed the early Bad Manners spectacle and the bizarre invasions of their cult live following. The actual finalised band name was decided upon when David Farren's poster art work began to bill a certain Buster Bloodvessel and his Bad Manners. The impoliteness factor began to kick in as a selling point once mild forms of indecent exposure and other incidents became part of the stage act. For instance, Buster was one night halfway through the Cheese and Pickle Blues routine when he coughed up half the plateful of snacks he had eaten, all over the audience… Etc. Another reason for the Bad Manners name was the Bad Manners method of raising cash. They were very imaginative. At one gig they billed the event as being in aid of the Deprived Children of Hackney. At the end of the gig they thanked everyone for their generosity on the door and in the collection plate before announcing that THEY were the deprived children of Hackney. They then left. Quickly…

SkaWhereas, the 2-Tone movement of SKA had taken the country by storm in 1979, Bad Manners had been playing the same material for some years. The 2-Tone music label was also branded by its Black and White check pattern. The Bad Manners colour code was Black/Yellow. Many people often ask why. The answer is simple. Many Bad Manners fans were railway and traffic workers and they were happy to bring those huge rolls of tape you see at the side of road works. Armed with these rolls of tape, the fans would then help 'decorate' the insides of the venues were the gigs were being held. The reaction of the proprietors of those venues has not been recorded.

 

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