King Of The Slums: Dandelions


Midnight Music 1989. CHIME 01.04 D


It’s been too long since I posted anything by this band, so here’s their debut album.  It’s more of the same, not that there’s anything wrong with that – angry people with noisy guitars and a manic violinist is good as far as I’m concerned.  There should be more violins in rock music.

This doesn’t quite have the impact of the Vicious British Boyfriend EP, but nevertheless it’s a consistently strong album; there’s no filler here.

Everything they did was deleted long ago, but there’s some stuff on the hateful itunes apparently.

Various Artists: Head Over Ears


Play Hard Records 1987.  DEC 7


This is a worthwhile compilation put together by Debris magazine with a surprising number of big names contributing exclusive tracks including The Fall, Big Black, King Of The Slums, The Railway Children and A House.

I particularly like The Fall’s contribution – often their live recordings are pointless, but this one sounds as though someone’s playing space invaders in the background which I quite like.  It’s always good to find more Big Black – there just aren’t enough Big Black records for my liking.  The studio version of this live track originally appeared on their debut Lungs EP.

Not surprisingly every artist here has produced better work on their own releases, but the stellar line-up makes it hard to resist.

King Of The Slums: Vicious British Boyfriend EP


Play Hard Records 1989.  DEC 14


Angry men with guitars and an angry woman with an electric violin is very good combination, so much so that this has rarely strayed far from my turntable.  The manic violin playing is so good that it’s hard to see why more bands don’t use them.  I guess violins are difficult to play.

King Of The Slums were a Manchester band who got the sort of underground recognition (and airplay from Peel) you’d expect for a band of this calibre, although they sounded like no-one else, especially in 1989, and never got any sort of mainstream success.

The first track, Fanciable Headcase is an absolute monster.  I defy you to sit still while it’s playing, and not to play it again immediately and then bore all your friends with it.  It really is that good.

I’m not sure why there’s a picture of horrible racist Enoch Powell on the cover – maybe it fueled the anger on the record.  The union jack behind him is pink.  Haven’t figured that one out either, but I expect Enoch Powell was also homophobic so maybe that’s why.

Everything by the band is of course long deleted, although according to their truly dreadful web site, there are a few bits and pieces available on itunes.