Tuesday 8 December 2009

Carnival Song

“Tabasco sauce, Worcester sauce, Prince Buster, draught Guinness, Roy Orbison, Huddy Leadbetter, Chuck Berry, Woody Guthrie, Converse All Stars, Sta Prest, our founder, Elvis Presley, midnight movies at the Electric, Joe Orton, medical text books, William Faulkner, Allen Ginsberg, Francis Bacon (painter), William Burroughs’ Junkie (hate everything else by him), Dostoyevsky, Sylvia Plath, Diane Arbus, Burning Spear, early Stones, early Keith Hudson”. Another London list song? Nope. It's a list of influences cited by the Vincent Units in Zigzag May ’79. The Vincent Units, and splinter group the Tesco Bombers, were legends of the London W10/W11 scene in the post punk era, and were led by well connected wide boy and clown prince Neal Brown. The infamous Robin Banks in Zigzag turned them into cult heroes without anyone really hearing them. It would be a couple of years later that the Notting Hill (ex)centric classic Carnival Song appeared as a single on Y Records. Neal would become more involved with the art world as the years went by. You might recognise his name from the foreword to Bill Drummond's 45. More recently he has written a short study of Billy Childish. Among the groups associated with the Vincent Units back in the day would be the Raincoats and the Mo-Dettes (who played their first show supporting the Vincent Units at the Acklam Hall) ...

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