The Babysitters - 'Live At The Marquee Club 1986' (Self Released) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Dom Daley   
Friday, 24 April 2015 03:00

Babysitters - Live At The Marquee lp front 22I've no idea what record label put this bad boy out and to be honest I couldn't give a shit I'm just glad it's been given a right good seeing to (oo-er Mrs). Anybody who was about in the early and mid eighties will remember these loons dominating Soho with big personalities. Too glam for metal, too punk for rock and too odd for punk The Babysitters had it all and in equal amounts they had nothing but tomfoolery and acting the goat. They did however manage to get themselves on the best tour to hit the UK in the 1980s - in fact it was the finest tour since the Anarchy line up but, hey, Buttz and Co. were there on merit.

 

I know there are many scribes who fondly look back on this vinyl record within the ranks of the Uber Rock massive because it never took itself seriously but they always managed to have a good time (it might not have been the case but from the outside looking in they were having it large). Their recording output was always going to be sporadic and the studio time might not always have been spent taking care of business but live they always delivered. If they were shambolic and out of tune and chaotic it was great fun. If they sounded on fire and were, um, a bit chaotic it was always fun.

 

Anyway, enough waffle, let's look under the hood and see what we've got 'ere then, guv. Well, it's only the live Marquee album (duh! The title might have been a slight giveaway) but wait a minute, it's been lovingly remastered and touched up (not like that, you perv) by none other than Jimbo. If I remember correctly this was out before the tour with Hanoi and Thunders - it was certainly recorded before that tour hit the UK and the artwork is lovingly scaled down for this CD version but it does have the bonus of extra tracks and it's now fleshed out into a behemoth twelve tracks for your listening pleasure.  

 

'Big Girls' is a glunk classic and always was and still is and if you let it it will take root inside your head and you'll find yourself randomly singing the words at the most inappropriate of times but, hey, I guess that's what Buttz intended when he penned the lyrics, the little scamp.

 

The Motörhead classic 'Overkill' never sounded so good and you can listen closely to the guitar Jimbo is playing and try not to burst out laughing because I'm sure Fast Eddie would doff his cap at the utterly superb sloppy note hacking going on which only goes to enhance this record, fucking genius!

 

'Can You Hear It' led the way for bands like the Soho Roses to pick up the baton and run with what makes music so great. Surely it's time for a reunion? I know the Marquee has long since gone from Wardour Street and Charing Cross Road, hell, even the Astoria has gone but the 100 club is still there on Oxford Street - it would be fitting if this could happen. Anyway 'Frank Bough' showed that the band could mix up the styles and add something else to their repertoire. I don't know what it was they added but it must count for something and where else in the history of music has Frank Bough, Dickie Davies been mentioned in the same song as Glitter and Wham!?  

 

'Rock N Roll Chicken' sounds like Johnny Thunders or the New York Dolls which can't be bad. For those who had a copy of the classic compilation albums of the time will remember the two contributions The Babysitters made to 'Trash On Delivery' in the shape of 'Living Out Rock And Roll' with the really memorable lyrics that must have taken an age to put together. 'Everybody Loves You When You're Dead' hits the nail on the head with its sludgy, sloppy glunk rock and still sounds fantastic all these years later.

 

Don't forget this wasn't just a band intent on leading the glunk rock pack but they also did the acoustic thing ('Frank Bough'), plus they did a mean line in acapella which is nicely demonstrated on 'The Beard Song' which is taken from the 'Rock Pretty' compilation album, and to close things off here they include their blues workout in the shape of 'Pineapple Blues' where Jimbo cuts loose with some contemporary guitar slinging to rival anything Vai or Van Halen could dish out, and what rock bands around in the mid '80s had steel drums on their records? Nobody I'd wager.

 

The Babysitters were trailblazers, pioneers, trend setters, lunatics, Prophets (the Beard song and some of the celebs mentioned in one song) and all round entertainers: I'm only a little gutted that 'The Man With The Trembly Nose' isn't included and when I saw two hidden bonus tracks my heart skipped a beat but alas neither were this timeless lost classic.

 

Anyway, I'll sum this up quickly for you. If you read Uber Rock for the metal content then thanks for getting this far. If you read it for any of the alternative reviews or the punk stuff then, thanks, surely you know what to do next. Click the link and send Jimbo some money and tell him the Ubers sent you. Who knows he might find a copy of a demo of 'The Man With The Trembly Nose' in the back of his Transit and release it in time for that reunion gig I mentioned. C'mon guys you know it makes sense. Book it and they will come.

 

*disclaimer* I am well aware of the bands mentioned in this review and my puerile attempts at being ironic or sarcastic might fall flat to some, besides the New York Dolls could never have penned the timeless classic that is 'Rock N Roll Chicken', even I know that.

 

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