Thursday, 7 November 2013


I have this very vague memory of an amusing little piece in one of my brother's copies of Smash Hits (no I never fucking bought anything of that sort myself). This was in the mid-80's, I guess, and the article was really just a long list of weird band and artist names. I can't remember many of the names on the list. But I'm pretty sure that the punk and metal genres were well represented thereupon. Perhaps this is a false memory, but I seem to think that the name Revolting Cocks was on the list. Can that be right? Isn't that a bit too earthy for Smash Hits? Maybe. Dunno. 

Reggae got a look in too, that's for sure, because one act of whose inclusion I am absolutely certain is Eek-A-Mouse,  a name my dad still laughs about to this day, even though I'm certain he's never heard any of the guy's records.

That this article (no copy of which has been in my possession for almost thirty years) remains stubbornly lodged in my memory is due, I'm sure, to the fact that silly band names have always been strongly appealing to my brother and I. So much so, in fact, that my brother once created a (purely imaginary) band which he named The Achmed Smugglers*. For my part, I was once the least talented member of an actual group that rejoiced in several names including Urine Sample and Pest Control.

It was, I assume, this eye for a bonkers band name that recently led me to discover the existence of an eccentric Nottingham combo known as Arse Full of Chips. I have no idea what, if anything, I was originally looking for when I stumbled upon some website or other that mentioned the East Midlands songsters-slash-funnymen. But I'm glad it happened, because now I get to enjoy the fact that the current generation of youngsters have their own version of Half Man Half Biscuit. AFOC and HMHB, for me, take somewhat similar approaches to writing lyrics. If you listen to a bit of AFOC, you'll understand what I mean. If you do want to check their stuff out, the songs I recommend most highly are Flogging a Dead Meerkat, Top of the Plops, The Internet Has Ruined Everything and Are You That Bloke Who Gets His Willy Out?

Anyway, given that they never play down south and given that I never go to gigs any more, it seems unlikely that I'll ever sample the live AFOC experience. Just as well maybe. One of the lads does apparently get his willy out on stage and I'm a bit British about stuff like that. But, wanting to supportive, and mindful of all that stuff about merchandise being worth more than music sales these days, I ordered a fetching AFOC t-shirt, which I'll be sporting in public very soon. It took a while to get here, but here it is:

* not sure if it was spelled "Achmed" or "Ahmed" and I can't be bothered to ask my brother

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