earl brutus - your majesty we are here (vol 1), tonight you are the special one
story : when my wife was 6 months pregnant with my child i 'accidentally' won tickets for the Reading Festival. the tix arrived in a package on the friday morning of the festival. having just finished a night shift and already in trouble for even trying to enter said competition i rang my wife and explained that the complimentary dr. martens bag/chewing gum/toilet paper that came with with the tix were enough for me. 30 minutes later i got the call from er saying 'bugger it lets go for saturday and sunday'. the line up wasn't that great but hey so what, julian cope on saturday, and compulsion on sunday was reason enough for me. we set off on saturday morning in our little fiat panda without rooms to stay in and head off on our last carefree adventure before parenthood. booked into a hotel near site we then headed for festival saturday afternoon. nothing special except serious rainstorm during billy braggs performance. marion were ok, dodgy were .. well, dodgy, and julian cope was barking mad (but brilliant of course). that was enough for my wife and being impressed with actually being there we head for the hotel for a good nights sleeps. ha. the room next door was party room. they didn't need sleep, whoever they were. grrrr. next morning the weather was far better and we decided to give it a go. we set off for the site.
many normal sunday morning sights - hangovers and leftovers. parting from my wife so she could cruise the festival stalls i wandered round to see what was happening. very little. passing the super furries animals techno tank i passed john peel and entered one of the tents, only to met but the most wonderful cacophony of noise.
the stage was occupied by a bunch of grumpy-looking blokes. they had a shop sign that spins round with two words on it. 'piss' on one side, and 'off' on the other. wonderful. the music was mainly generated by a sampler/sequencer there appeared to be a drum kit of some kind, and a japanese guy who was just 'there' on the stage not doing much but glaring at the crowd, holding a bottle of designer beer. the music was a mix of guitars and feedback set to chants from the grumpy men. for 30 minutes i was spellbound. the first band in years to completely wake me up and pray at the alter of rock-n-roll.
i returned to cilvilisation and immediately tracked down earl brutuss' lp - 'your majesty we are here'. i was not disappointed. grumpy men making loud glitter-stomp music with mad samples/lyrics interspersed with gorgeuos kraftwerk-esque melodies. the sleevenotes gave very little about the band. and all the reviews just kept going on about how they were old drunks who were mates with the media. i later found out that one member is brother of martin (abc) fry ! the cd even made it into Q's best 50 releases of the year list.
a while later i found their second cd. this even has a band photo - but be warned they are not pinups ! a far more focused album with better songs but basically more of the same. lyrics that are poignant/relevant/bitter and very funny over discarded bowie riffs matched with glitter-band stomp. several reviews mentioned mark e smiths vocal delivery as point of reference - which is fair enough.
and that's it. no media hype/mention of them since. bar one single i nearly heard on the evening session.
we need earl brutus in this age of clean manufactured music where the music is pre-processed by marketing meetings, and quarterly figures. we need old buggers like this lot to teach the young ones how to act in true rock-n-roll fashion !
long live earl brutus
earl brutus : your majesty we are here
navyhead.i'm new.male milk.on me not in me.dont leave me behind mate(thelmex)black speedway.motarola.shrunken head(curtsy)blind date.lifes too lon.karl brutus + excellent hidden track.
deceptive records - bluff36 - 1996
cover - mitdr !
earl brutus - tonight you are the special one
the sas and the glam that goes with it. universal plan. midland red. god, let me be kind,come taste my mind, second class war, your majesty we are here, dont die jim, 99p, east, edelweiss, male wife.
fruition records - 1998