Friday, March 16, 2007

I Don't Want To Work For British Airways

Back in the heady days of (racks brain, scratches head, takes a guess) February 88, NME awarded Anorak City by Another Sunny Day one of its singles of the week.

One comparison the review made was to "‘I Don’t Want To Work For British Airways’ by surely you remember who...” Uh, the Scissor Fits, we know now. It does have the same spirit and rampaging bite of Anorak City, and it’s worth posting so’s you can have a listen.

Those people at Hyped2Death, who have it on one of their Messthetics compilations (oh, guys, I uploaded this from my vinyl copy), offer this:

SCISSOR FITS -I Don't Want to Work for British Airways / A Small One (Dubious SJP-793) Hounslow '79 first EP: Messthetics #101
The Scissor Fits hailed from Hounslow, barely two miles off the main runways of Heathrow, so "I Don't Wanna Work for British Airways" takes to heart the DIY maxim "write what you know." Their debut EP was recorded before they'd ever played in public, and 'dedicated to the Soft Boys.' Mike Alway was a songwriter and part-time guitarist-and-general-inspiration who actually went on to manage the Soft Boys: he had the 'Fits open for them several times during the Underwater Moonlight era. (Alway later managed the Monochrome Set and launched the Blanco y Negro, Reviere, ...If, él and Sound of Chartreuse labels.) Yank drummer Bud Drago put out a (remarkably American-sounding) EP on the same Dubious label but soon headed back Stateside (he's now in Character Z, and running, while the 'Fits went on to record a live EP for Tortch that featured a couple of DIY's finer, longer, more psychedelic numbers. The band-name? "a Don Martin cartoon in MAD magazine depicted a woman with a long cigarette holder accidentally stubbing her cigarette out in a man's eye. The resulting sound effect was 'SIZZZA - FITZZ' or something like that..."

The next installment of Messthetics features the Versatile Newts on CD for the first time

Messthetics #103: Midlands D.I.Y. 1977-81 103 covers the Midlands scene from 1977-81. Highlights include The Prefects swaggering “Things In General”, Swell Maps’ certifiably eccentric “Camouflage Attack”, The Cravats’ uber-classic “Gordon”, The Shapes’ super-hero-worrying “Batman In The Launderette”, School Meals’ staff-baiting “Headmaster” & Domestic Bliss’ previously unreleased anthem, “Domestic Bliss”, collectively making a watertight case for Leamington Spa being the creative centre of the known universe! The package will once again include a 16-page booklet pimped to the max with sleeve scans, unseen photographs, bonus MP3s & the ubiquitous Chuck Warner penned essays!
1. Versatile Newts – “Newtrition”
2. Prefects – “Things in General”
3. Swell Maps – “Camouflage Attack”
4. The Accused – “Arrested”
5. Digital Dinosaurs – “Aliens in Your Skies”
6. Profile – “Vince”
7. Hardware – “Walking”
8. Spizzoil – “Fibre”
9. Famous Explorers – “Boy Detectives”
10. Cravats – “Gordon”
11. Buzz – “Life Ends”
12. Shapes – “Batman in the Launderette”
13. School Meals – “Headmaster”
14. Domestic Bliss – “Domestic Bliss”
15. Hardware – “Face the Flag”
16. Hawks – “Sense of Ending”
17. Cracked Actor – “Statues”
18. Lester and the Brew – “Bad Day in The City”/”Eyesight Bad”
19. 021 – “Robot”
20. Dangerous Girls – “Dangerous Girls”
21. Human Cabbages – “The Witch”
22. Cult Figures – “Zip Nolan (live)”

Messthetics Regional Series will continue in due course, with volumes in the pipeline from Wales, Scotland, Manchester/Liverpool/Lancashire, North-by-Northwest, the South Coast, the West Country & Essex/East Anglia.

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