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LUMP: Old Punk Daze – EP reviewed

EP review LUMP: Old Punk Daze (self-released) Limited edition CD/ DL Released 9 Sept 2022 LUMP are from the sleepy Wiltshire City of Salisbury. Formed and fronted by local music scene veteran and legend in his own lunch-hour Colin Holton. They are the self-proclaimed Saviours of rock n roll and pioneers of Mongrel Rock – […]

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LUMPEP review

LUMP: Old Punk Daze (self-released)

Limited edition CD/ DL

Released 9 Sept 2022

LUMP are from the sleepy Wiltshire City of Salisbury. Formed and fronted by local music scene veteran and legend in his own lunch-hour Colin Holton. They are the self-proclaimed Saviours of rock n roll and pioneers of Mongrel Rock – singing songs about people, places and things in Salisbury. Our reviewer Ged Babey went to grammar school in the city from 1975 alongside the Beast from The Chase and Ralph Fiennes. They were Bishop Wordsworth Boys.. which just happens to be title of one of the songs on this EP. 

Salisbury story tellers Lump are back with a much anticipated new recording; including a nostalgic trip down memory lane regarding the heyday of punk rock in Salisbury, global warming; a song about finding an Iceberg in Fisherton street! and one about being a Bishop Wordsworth Boy!!

Salisbury became famous worldwide a few years back for the Novichok poisonings of Russian ex-pats in the city centre.  How did local satirical old punks LUMP respond? Did they write a humanitarian anthem, condemning Putin and calling for ‘peace’?   No, they wrote a song called Greggs lamenting the closing down for six whole weeks of the well known bakery chain shop as a result of the incident!  (It’s on their Quintessential English Scandal EP)

Colin Holton, who has been in bands in the city since the late 1970’s (the QT’s and Mad Cow Disease being the most well-known) describes LUMP songs as “not-too-serious social commentaries about living in Salisbury”. In other words, they take-the-piss, with a unique Sarum je ne sais quoi. 

LUMPs line-up includes former members of 90’s UK industrial metal pioneers Mad Cow Disease, original punks ‘London’ and Paul Dianno’s punk-rock side project, ‘The Almighty Inbredz. Says Mr Holton, attempting to give an informative account of the band-members pedigree.

As well as Nick on bass and another Colin on drums, the current line-up includes guitarist Ian Browne, forever known locally as Skid Marx, for reasons best kept unspoken. Skid played a pivotal role in my punk-rock education, playing in Kinetic NRG – the first unsigned, independent, unrecorded and unknown punk band I ever saw play live: supporting The Mental (later members of Subhumans) and Winchesters The Irritations at the Sarum ’76 youth-club type venue in Salisbury in 1978.  They played the Lurkers Be My Prisoner so were therefore absolutely godlike at the time -cos at 14, living in the sticks with no money, I was never gonna get the see the actual Lurkers. Two of Kinetic NRG wore glasses like me and had Lurkers-length hair (the Clements brothers), the singer, Alex, was a skinhead-type who looked more like Esso and Ian Skid Browne was the leather-jacketed guitarist. Coolest dude in town.

Well, apart from Tom Vague and Perry Harris obviously, because they produced the local fanzine, the legendary Vague.

The only two Salisbury punk’n’new wave era bands to make it onto vinyl in the Seventies were the Kitchens and The QT’s.

The Kitchens played the Sarum 76 gig and I remember them being ‘a bit too arty’ (as in Talking Heads/Television rather than Pistols/Clash) for my young tastes, but at least they featured a very cool bassplayer – the legendary Ruth Jones. She was probably oblivious to her status amongst (Grammar School) boys a few years younger than her, as our local Gaye Advert/Tina Weymouth equivalent.  She is still active in the Salisbury music/arts scene and still our poster-girl and not to be confused with the Gavin & Stacey actress.

The QT’s who I actually can’t remember ever seeing live – even though I must’ve were a keyboard-lead band like the Stranglers and their Dave Greenfield was the bearded Frogg Moody -now a local historian, author and Ripper authority. Colin Holton was bassist in the QT’s – which brings us back to the lead track on the Lump EP.

Old Punk Daze is less than 2 minutes and a whirlwind trip back to the ‘cider haze’ of 1977-79, complete with Ramones and QT’s namechecks, 1-2-3-4’s and a guitar solo suspicious like the Benny Hill chase-sequence theme!

Iceberg In Fisherton Street is a song about apathy to climate change which pokes fun at Bono, the Royals and Greta and takes the opportunity to include a mention one of Salisburys most well-known and popular streets or ‘cultural hubs’ as they are called nowadays.

The track which I was most intrigued to hear is Bishop Wordsworths Boy – seeing as I was one.

William ‘Lord of the Flies’ Golding taught there, Mark ‘the Beast’ Labbett, Ralph Fiennes and I all attended at roughly the same time and as far as locals were concerned the school was full of stuck-up swots and ‘Bishops Wankers’ according to rival schoolkids.

And then you had the bizarre cast of teachers (or ‘masters’) with nicknames like Piggy (Mr Gammon) Polly (Mr Perrett) and Olive (Mr Grove).  Sweat (Woodwork teacher – self-explanatory). Groucho (looked like the Marx Brother) Tich (lacked height) and Galen, a hirsute, bearded Physics teacher who really did bear an uncanny resemblance to the television ape.

The boys were addressed by their surnames, which was fab when your name is pronounced ‘Baby’ – and had equally weird nicknames: Neufty, Bear, Ebo, Lurch .. or maybe that was just my mates? There were a lot of future Lord Snootys and Leaders of Mens among the BWS boys it has to be said.

But decades on, LUMP are envious!

And I wish, I wish I was, a Bishop Wordsworth Boy… goes the song and takes the school motto, Veritas in Caritate – and the translation, Truth In Love, as the chorus.  It’s a neat little new-wave pop song and like the rest of the EP would’ve been on Stiff Records had it come out in 1978 and been a novelty-hit alongside Wreckless Eric, Jona Lewis and Tenpole Tudor.

Rugger is rhymed with bugger. A choirboy vocal gives way to a more ‘bollocksy’ voice, and it really is a catchy little number. South Wilts Girls get a brief mention needless to say!

LUMP have been turned into cartoon characters in their fabulous art-work.

Nostalgia, singalong tunes and taking the mick is what LUMP do – and they do it well.  A cracking little EP and great to see the Salisbury punk generation are still doing their bit in the culture-war against boredom and pipe & slippers old age.

LUMP will be performing at a special launch event TONIGHT Friday September 9th at Brown Street. They will be joined by Sunny Jim Cyanide and the Keyless Locksmiths who will be making their debut. Free entry, 7.30pm

‘Old Punk Daze’ the new EP from LUMP will be available from midnight on Friday September 9th on all major download sites. ALSO available on limited edition CD format at the show.

LUMP Facebook 

All words Ged Babey


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