Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Life of Live - The Men They Couldn't Hang

The Men They Couldn't Hang started so well. Early singles topped the independent charts at a time when that meant something as well as earning record of the week slots in the music press. They got signed to a major label who didn't really know what to do with them and they couldn't translate their indie sales into mainstream chart success. In the meantime The Pogues following a similar path started to steal all the plaudits. I picked up on the band late, three lps had already come and gone by the time I saw them live, but when I did I was hooked and as they toured pretty consistently it wasn't long before I had the chance to do so again.

The tour was to promote the Waiting for Bonaparte lp which was the labels big push for chart success, especially with lead off single The Colours (the dictionary definition of rousing sing a long). I remember talking after the gig with a friend and we were trying to figure out why at a time of wedding present guitars , Lloyd Cole catchiness and Prefab Sprout cleverness we would enthuse so much about a band that sang of sailors and smugglers. I guess it all came down to seeing them live - it was pure energy and they also (like a lot of great bands) boasted 2 songwriters which kept the quality and variety high.

Anyway here is a rousing rebel song

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