At the time of the band’s formation in September 1977 there was a large amount of record company and media interest, mainly because the focus was on the bassist, former Sex Pistol Glen Matlock who had been kicked out of his seminal previous band.

Matlock had teamed up with two unknowns – Steve New (guitar and vocals) and drummer Rusty Egan. Soon after the band would be complimented by the singer and frontman of Slik, a struggling band that had been re-invented as PVC2, Midge Ure, who would later go on to find fame with Ultravox and Band Aid.

Despite Matlock being the main driving force the band largely ditched any punk-style posturing and their one and only album showcased more of a lad-ish, power pop style that also drew on the likes of Dr Feelgood, the Small Faces and pub rock.

Admittedly it’s far from sophisticated stuff. A rudimentary 4/4 beat, verse-chorus, verus-chorus, middle-eight, verse-chorus format. A thudding beat and loud guitars. Essentially, music to jump up and down to like some four-year-old high on fizzy pop and food additives. People who weren’t familiar with the band the first time around might not get the point of ‘Ghosts of Princes in Towers’ at all and listening to it today it sounds very dated, basic and rudimentary. But there’s nothing like a good dose of nostalgia to get the blood pumping. Soon enough you’ll be leaping about like some brainless idiot and singing along to the choruses. If you don’t remember them (or are from the wrong generation) it might all seem, however, like what’s the point?

While the original production by David Bowie’s guitarist Mick Ronson was rather murky and muddy it has been – to some extent – cleaned up on the recent CD re-issue which has improved matters a lot although some songs still leave much to be desired.

‘Cheap Emotions’ is really nothing more than a bar-room sing-a-long at closing time and ‘Bullet-Proof Lover’ seems to have been an afterthought and just there to make up the numbers. It reeks of ‘album filler’.

Still, there are songs like ‘Marching Men’, ‘Lovers and Fools’ and ‘Strange One’ as well as the first single ‘Rich Kids’ to get you in the mood for sinking a few beers, getting a bit laddish and rowdy and jumping about the place.

It’s all brash, unpolished and blokey, like some actual pub rock band with actual talent and the ability to write a catchy refrain. It might not be big or clever but it sure is fun though.












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