Page 13 of the Soft Boys scrapbook

Page 13 of The Soft Boys Scrapbook

We are Pere Ubu’s warm up band on their British tour. So are duo Red Crayola, also American- open, friendly drummer, reserved guitarist, disgruntled that Red Crayola went on first. Possibly they hadn’t told him we would be going on second, or even that a third, British band would appear on this tour, an all too familiar music biz practise! A Telecaster into a Fender Twin, on full top end. Previously naive, it dawned on me that music could be unlistenable. But it’s left field and sincerely meant. But it’s unlistenable. Still looking for the answer.
Pere Ubu- genial vocalist David, friendly bass player Tony, reserved synthesiser player (which you couldn’t really hear) Alan, seemingly the thirty five year old (ancient at the time) corduroy jacket wearing polytechnic lecturer type. There must also have been a drummer and guitarist, now lost in my brain fog.
That photo of Robyn again, undoubtedly during one of his improvised onstage mid song stories, when he would raise his arms in the air to emphasise a dramatic twist.
A set list. The opener, Do the Chisel- the repeated title line, unusually for us the only lyrics in the song- in principle a bit like Mashed Potatoes by James Brown, except that there never was a Chisel dance- but there was Lee’s wonderful interpretive dancing, to this and all the other songs in the repertoire. Fatman- the first new song I learned in the SBs- until that point I’d simply inherited all of my predecessor Alan Davies’ guitar ideas. Mystery Train- a 12 bar, from Little Junior Parker (the only blues singer to be both little AND junior) and Elvis. Sandra (Sandra’s Having Her Brain Out)- mini opera, gets more preposterous- Sandra is joined by Brenda, who’s having her heart washed- the big finish- Bloaty’s Having His Newt Installed, sung as a round. School dinner blues- not the Molesworth spelling (skool) this time. Return of the Sacred Crab- Robyn would recite passages mid song from the novel Night of the Crabs (horror but also including sex scenes)- we mocked the novel mercilessly. Give it to the Soft Boys- theme song, on the principle of Hey Hey We’re the Monkees, usually at the beginning of the set. Hear my Brane- the Molesworth spelling. Have a Heart Betty- rocking 1950s style pop, desperately unfashionable in 1979. Leppo and the Jooves- featuring Robyn on green bass.