Bad Manners are an English ska band, from North London, fronted by the larger (extra-large?) than life Buster Bloodvessel. Big in the ‘80s, during a period when ska was popular, Bad Manners spent an amazing 111 weeks in the UK Singles Chart between 1980 and 1983 and the band had 15 hit singles in the U.K. with such classics as “Lip Up Fatty”, ” Ne-Ne Na-Na Na-Na Nu-Nu” (Yeah, really!), My Girl Lollipop”, “The Can Can”, “Special Brew” and “Walking In The Sunshine” and were up there with Madness, The Specials and The Selecter as the leading Ska band of the time.
Formation: A group of six school friends in 1976, from North London, formed the band. Fronted by Buster Bloodvessel (born Douglas Trendle), the band were mostly made up of self-taught musicians and a lot of energy. After becoming popular in the pubs and clubs of their native surrounds with their unique stage performances and huge leading man they quickly gained a following, which got them a record contract (without even recording a demo tape) with Magnet Records in 1980.
Where did the name come from? Buster Bloodvessel is a name taken from the bus conductor off the Beatles’ movie Magical Mystery Tour.
TV work Growing up in the 80’s, Bad Manners were a stable diet on TV, from Saturday morning Breakfast shows like Tiswas, Cheggars Plays Pop and the rest to evening appearances on, of course, Top of The Pops, over 30 in fact. Sometimes manic, always fun, the more noted appearances included that Can Can dress with the big fuck off Doc Martins, and on Tiswas with lots and lots of flying custard pies! The TV work and colourful performances gave them a chance to showcase their music to a huge audience and endeared Bad Manners to the British public.
Eventually they got banned from TOTP, when Buster, unannounced, painted his head red, which messed up the lightning and view from the TV screens. Not the worst thing in the world, but there you go.
Ban Manners and more specifically their eccentric front man, were always good fun to watch on TV. Buster with his really long tongue, big shiny bald head, even bigger belly, and always wearing something mad, was a sight to see
In 1985 Buster mooned (indecent exposure) the POPE! Yeah you read that right! In Italy, for the San Remo Festival, wanting to outdo Barry White, who was just coming off stage, and shock the crowd, Buster dropped his pants, and his rather large and not that hard to miss bum was picked up live on state TV. Unfortunately for Buster this festival was a favourite of his Holiness Pope John Paul who was watching the whole spectacle back in the Vatican. This resulted in a lifetime ban from Italian TV, and perhaps eternal damnation in the next life as well.
Buster is a big man with big ideas…….so it was only natural that if he was to have a Hotel called “Fatty Towers” for big people, it makes perfect sense (I Guess!). The hotel located in Margate, opened in 1996, and catered for the larger clientele, or at least those with huge appetites, had massive beds and baths, held annual Belly of the Year contests, and more importantly had extra-large food portions on its menus. Apparently the St John’s Ambulance were on speed dial in the event of misfortune!
Alas the venture didn’t last, as touring whilst running a hotel was too demanding, and Fatty Towers closed in 1998.
The legend of Buster’s eating habits…..eating 28 Big Macs, had ate a shark and once on the Isle of Wight ate 15 lobsters. So Buster was always a fat bastard, but when his weight topped 31 stone (197kg) and he collapsed during a show, then things had to change as his life was clearly in danger. Buster underwent gastric bypass surgery in 2004 and now he weighs in at a very respectful 13 stone. He lost roughly 18 stone (114kg) in just over 10 months, which is about the size of many a man! This new lease of life now means that the Hackney-born crooner has even more energy to bounce around the stage, Lip Up Fatty no more!
Touring Bad Manners are a hardworking band, permanently gigging which takes them all over the world, from as far afield as Japan, Australia and New Zealand, the Americas, all round Europe, and the length and breadth of Britain. Yet despite the years the band still packs out venues, albeit small sized venues such as leisure centres, pubs, theatres, festivals.
To really appreciate Bad Manners you really have to experience them live. Their live concerts are legendary. A lot of sweaty dancing will be involved, a huge amount of fun, and a decent slice of good time Ska. This is one reason why the band still gig and are still popular even after all these years…..nights full of skanking
Seeing them for the first time, in Under the Bridge, London, I can definitely confirm that they are a great live act. Brilliant, and without a shadow of a doubt one of the best gigs I have ever attended. Great fun, friendly crowd, and a good set that was well over an hour where by the end everyone was hopping around like crazy. Top stuff…….
Under The Bridge
Address: Stamford Bridge | Fulham Road, London SW6 1HS, England
The concert was set in Under the Bridge, a very fancy purpose-built music venue in west London, just under Chelsea football club’s stadium, Stamford Bridge, hence the name!
The place holds about 500 people, and cost Mr. Chelsea, Roman Abramovich, a cool £20 million to refurbish what was the Purple nightclub
I have to say the venue was fantastic, really was.
The band were illuminated with great bright LED lightening, the sound was perfect, and it was dead easy to get a view no matter where you were in the room, as the stage was raised, no looking between people’s heads and awkward glances over peoples shoulders. Also plenty of room to sit, lots of bar stools around, toilets impeccable, everywhere all clean and tidy. Perfectly designed, and very classy, but not in anyway pretentious.
As for the workforce, friendly door security, and the bar staff were ultra-friendly, chatty and quick to get your order.
The Sheephaven Bay
Address: 2-3 Mornington Street, Camden, London NW1 7QD
Making my way from the tube stop on Mornington Crescent, and just off Camden Town High Street, I went to meet a few old friends at The Sheephaven Bay, a good Irish style back street boozer. I have had beers in this pub before, always has a cracking atmosphere, feels homely, and even though it’s an Irish pub, it’s definitely not an “Oirish” pub, this is the real deal, warmth and charm, and none of your “O’Neills” plastic shite here!
Plenty of space, good beer on tap, lots of banter, and football on the box, but not so loud that you can’t hear yourself think……..great pub to spend a few hours in. Recommended.
Zeitgeist at the Jolly Gardeners
49-51 Black Prince Road, Lambeth, London SE11 6AB, England
Was meeting a friend here who is part of the whole London St Pauli thing, and as this bar is German run and is the place to see all German national games and Bundesliga I and II games, we decided to meet here.
Have to say I completely missed it at first as it still retains the old name of the previous pub, “The Jolly Gardeners”, with “Zeitgeist” written in much smaller signage, so was very easy to pass. Think it’s officially called “The Zeitgeist at the Jolly Gardeners”. Clever, eh? Hmmm! This Victorian pub is just behind Lambeth Bridge and about 10 minutes from Vauxhall station. It was what looked like an old style British boozer on the corner of the street.
Inside though there is a Germanic feel to the bar, German flags, and a range of authentic German beers (or biers) on draught and in bottle covering most styles, from Warsteiner, Paulaner, Jever, Kolsch. Bitburger, Holstein, Krombacher, etc. Food is also available, schnitzels and sausages and all the rest. The bar’s popular with German expats, who gather to watch Bundesliga matches on two big screens.
Service was on the slow side, very slow, snail’s pace. Average time waiting for beer was about 20 minutes. Happened to loads of customers, ended up as a running joke, was actually quite funny how bad it was. One St Pauli fan had enough, got up and left!! Bar staff didn’t seem too bothered about all the thirsty customers, not rude or anything just they looked a bit stoned to be honest or perhaps that’s a German look? They looked a bit clueless and didn’t seem to be upto the job. I do know that they would be out on their ear if this was in an Irish bar, can’t be that slow when people need a drink!
Not much of an atmosphere either in the bar, bit dull, but to be fair St Pauli were getting beaten so I guess that put a dampener on things. Either way won’t be going to this scheisse hole again. One of the worst………..
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