The Bakesys have a new album out this week, to get your flux capacitor firing on all cylinders……
Though Perry Como got the ball rolling for a possible “10 songs which stick in your head” nonsense article today, I’ve been pleasantly reminded of eighties German outfit, Trio. A kind of poor man’s Europop Ian Dury, their only UK hit ‘Da Da Da’ definitely fits the bill.
But in turn it reminded me I’ve an album review to prioritise, a track on which reeks of Trio, and not the popular chocolate biscuit of the era. With its upfront ZX Spectrum game backbeat ‘Six O’clock Already‘ is like techno never happened; you can virtually see Jet Set Willy entering the banyan tree.
If you need Google to comprehend that reference, Newbury’s The Bakesys’ ‘Thursday Night on my Television,‘ might skyrocket over your head. Inspired by late eighties third wave ska bands, The Bakesys formed in 1990, and frontman Kevin Flowerdew is now editor of the superlative ska-zine ‘Do The Dog.’
I fondly reviewed their last outpouring, Sentences I’d Like To Hear The End Of, in which a variety of sixties news headlines are given a fourth gen ska makeover to poignant and danceable effect. This latest album is a different ballpark.
Through retrospective compilation, Thursday Night on my Television, relies entirely on that post-punk pop era, where no subgenre in the clutter of youth cultures could avoid the onslaught of electronica. It was a do-or-die age of experimentation, free of the trend of sampling. And unlike the previous Bakesys’ album, there are no samples, just rich of culture references harking of the kind of sounds dripping from that era, and deliberately clunky.
Fun Boy Three’s Our Lips are Sealed gets a counter-reaction, Molly Ringwald gets a mention, in a song akin to Kirsty McColl’s guy down the chip shop, and the best ballad themes around the subject of Bunking Off School, Jumping on Buses, leaving no doubts The Bakesys are either Dr Who, or lived this time, and are reminiscing on both reality-driven romance and fantasising, of John Hughes characters.
With shards of Two-Tone, new wave and post-punk, no pre-electronica subgenre is left behind, as it merges into this experimental period, this album will have you recollecting all from The Damned and The Beat, to Blancmange and Sparks, if you don’t remember ‘Beat the Clock,’ your memory will be jogged by this retrospective outpouring, and in the words of Kenny Everett, “all in the best possible taste!”
For it might take a couple of listens to be fully immersed, for what was avantgarde might now be cliché, The Bakesys home in with such a degree you’re drawn into reliving rather than attributing, like your Harrington jacket, Doc Martins and Fred Perry polo shirt have been hanging in your wardrobe all this time, waiting for you to stop staring at that fading Kim Wilde poster on your wall, and nip to the arcade to play some Space Invaders until a fight breaks out….. which kinda makes it alright.
But, it took me by surprise, expecting ska, when even the most ska-ish track, Money all the Time, has the electronic plod of Depeche Mode. It’s a synth-pop marvel, with a notion to matured retrospection, rather than delinquent melancholy, and it works on a level above the archetypal 80s tribute, to the point I’ll be avoiding white dog shit on the street, and I can smell that bubble gum you used to get in trading cards!
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