50 Tunes For 50 Years : The Birthday Party

Hard to believe I know but I was once a moody bugger (yeah right says every soul that’s ever seen me sat at the back). A moody bugger dressed head to twisted teenage toes in black. Mohair jumper, monkey boots and PVC trousers competed only with my jumble sale striped pyjama top in the challenging but graveyard friendly style wars that were my gothic years. Mooching around Colchester, head down, my curly William Reid inspired fringe ensuring my walk was always on the lean as I devoured a new world of nasty, nasty gothic punk sounds. Sounds like the New Model Army, Sisters of Mercy, The Cramps, those March Violets and the glory boys that were The Birthday Party.

And yes those genes that were destined to disco fought hard to ensure that one day the power of the twelve would drag me back from this dark diversion. And as I listen thirty-four years later to The Birthday Party’s The Hair Shirt, a moment of 80’s post-punk perfection I can’t help but hear the thing that had driven my DJ days ever since. A fuck off funking as hell bassline. The only strings may have been of those strung out in my angst-ridden teenage heart but girl did Mr Cave and Co. have me in the grip of their black leather-clad grooves. A grip that still has me spinning in 2020. All moody bugger like.

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