Twang Together

Tommy Toilet Humour, The Three Johns, The Nightingales, Eddie Chippington

from NME, 23rd July, 1983

London ICA

The baggy trousered end of post-industrial Northern chic was showcased here tonight on an ICA stage resembling a second-hand electrical junk shop, for an audience owing far more to the dress sense of Feargal Sharkey than one would expect for such a venue.
Ted Chippington is a stone hard slab of Midlands deadpan. Over 7ft tall in his magnificent platforms, he reels off 30 minutes of playground humour and rock classics, notably an abridged version of ‘Tie A Yellow Ribbon…’ wherein he explains to his loved one that the reason he didn’t come straight home after being released from prison… is because he went for a pint… because he like a pint when he’s just been in prison.
Ted’s talent is to explain everything to the point of tedium. In contrast, I’ve never understood a single word Rob Lloyd ever uttered. Rob would appear to sing about kestrels and curries. For this reason alone The Nightingales are damned to cult status among the hairbrained and deranged…
It has long been my opinion that the ranters’ success has been due solely to their ability to include such intrinisically amusing words in their work as “wank”, “fuck” and “smegma”. After tonight I realise that this is a gross over-simplification. The real skill lies in finding words that rhyme with “wank”, “fuck” and “smegma”.
Little Broter aka Tommy Toilet Humour – possibly the least subtle and therefore the most amusing of the illiterate end of the mildly annoyed young men – entertains with a babbling stream of closet jokes.
As if attempting to consolidate bodily excrement as tonight’s main theme, the porky Jock McDonald writhes on stage and breatrhes new living death into a trio of Pistols songs. The aptly named Bollock Bros are a festering tragedy. (Showaddywaddy in winding sheets.) It’s time the corpse was ploughed back under…
Ah, The Three Johns were great! Right down to the last minute appearance of various nonentities posing with unplugged guitars. Just like the “good old days”. A point to make. If the “spirit of punk” is still to be found, it is surely resides in such groups as The Nightingales and The Three Johns.

Susan Williams



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