Dick’s Picks: For this week’s pick our very own vinyl oracle would like to issue a parental advisory warning, so for those easily offended you’d better switch off now, for anyone else read on to get the full S.P. on this little known slice of UK underground skate punk by the wonderfully named ‘The Flying Medallions’ with their equally wonderfully titled sole LP ‘We Love Everybody And Everything’s Great’…..
The Flying Medallions – who, what, why, where?
Okay, firstly let’s just say that details for the band are a bit thin on the ground, but here’s what we’ve found…
The band formed in 1992, comprising of Stuart Stephens (vocals), Tasha Lay (vocals), Christian James Jupp (vocals), Alex Johnson (vocals), Tom williams (guitar), Dougie Palompo (bass) and Jason Tokar (drums). They quickly became a regular feature on the UK underground punk scene, however, keen to distance themselves from the commercial side of punk revivalism going on elsewhere (Smash, These Animal Men) the band deliberately showed scant regard for playing the media game (famously leaving an NME photographer stranded in Calais without his passport and penniless – just because!). Another ruse was to sign up to play to a rave/club crowd – needless to say their brand of agit-punk performed at three in the morning to “a load of bemused pilled up clubbers” – drew an angry response. Just the reaction these more punk than punks were after! Regular gigs were no different with many live sets descending into near riots!
Despite this, a bidding war broke out between several major labels but a lack of response and general disinterest from the band meant that they effectively scuppered their own career (not sure if careers the right word but you get the drift).
In 1995 a bad crash on their tour bass saw several of the band hospitalised and bass player Dougie Palompo was tragically killed. In singer Alex Johnson’s own words after this “we released a few singles, did a few gigs but it weren’t ever the same”.
What’s the album like?
Well with song titles like ‘Rapist’, ‘Cowpuncher’ and ‘Paedophile’ the Carpenters it ain’t. However, place the needle down on side one and the opening track ‘Boy Racer’ immediately sets the scene with rapid fire drumming, rasping vocals and a lyric that details the confused mindset of the protagonist, “Sainsburys car-park on a Saturday night is where we like to pull. Plenty of poony well educated stuff, trouble is my car’s too full”, the third track ‘Cowpuncher’ treads a slightly different path with a lolloping, disjointed intro before quickly morphing into a double-time thrash/rant. It has to be said if you’re looking for studied musical invention then you’ve probably come to the wrong place but if you want thirty-or-so minutes of high octane rama-langa punk with both a social conscience and a liberal side order of humour then look no further! PS…did I mention it’s on marble vinyl too?
What happened next?
After the tragic events of 1995 the band split up, band leader Alex Johnson went on to be a published poet and the author of the rather rude sex manual “How To Make Girls C** and the even ruder blog “Cement You C**t, if that’s not enough ‘rudity’ he is also the mainman with Morris dancing punk rock covers band (I’m not making this up) called…..wait for it….The 5 Shitty Fingers! If that’s not enough there’s a new band, Wonk Unit, who have recently supported Mercury Award nominees Slaves – back of the net!
Here’s a link Alex Johnson’s blog should you dare!
You can view the full details for this LP on eil.com here