Ripping Badger CDs – #7 – ‘Fantasy Black Channel’ by Late of The Pier (Parlophone Records, 2008)

As a special treat, here is KT. Don’t get use to it, this is very much a one off. Probably.

KT writes………

My daughter is currently obsessed with trains, one of her favourite trips is to be pushed in her buggy to the local park, where she will demand to be let out and then she will run to the wooden train thing in the park. There she will sit and pretend to drive the train to places such as “Catland” and “Dog Park”. I will then pretend to be a passenger on the train and revel in the delights of the journey. I will “ooh” with pleasure as I pretend that I am not looking at some badly worded graffiti by the next Oscar Wilde about a girl named Tia Spinks and her ‘tiny titties’, but some marvellous scenery that she is pointing out to me.

Then after that we will wander over to the nearby train station and if we are lucky, we will see the 12.25 from Axminster trundle into the station where one of two things generally happens. If the train is driven by Driver A, my daughter will get a toot of the train horn and a huge cheery wave from a huge walrus moustached fella, she will wave back enthusiastically and happily climb into her buggy, and fall asleep deliriously happy, no doubt dreaming about trains for the duration of the journey home.

If it is Driver B my daughter will not get a toot of the horn nor a cheery wave. Instead, she and I will get a frown because Driver B appears to be miserable child hating bastard who has a heart made of rock. I have realised that Driver B is destined to be single for the rest of his days, and as I gently cuddle my crying daughter, devastated by the lack of a ‘toot toot’, I like to picture Driver B sadly sitting in a knackered armchair with his microwaved lasagne for one as the wallpaper slowly peels itself off the walls because even inanimate objects like wallpaper can’t stand to be in the same room as him.

Luckily for you guys it is Driver A today because this means that my daughter is exhausted with delirious happiness at the length of the toot and the cheeriness of the wave. It also means I can sit down and write this little article about a band I have, until about twenty minutes ago, never heard of and certainly never heard. A band called Late of the Pier.

Late of the Pier, Wikipedia tells me, before I have listened to the six or seven tracks sent to me by SWC, are a dance punk foursome from Castle Donington.

I have no idea what dance punk is but I do know where Castle Donington is, having refused to go to ‘Monsters of Rock’ with my ex-husband and his mate ‘Nuggz’ about fifteen years ago. Wikipedia also tells me that ‘the nicest man in rock, Dave Grohl’ rates Late of the Pier as ‘amazing’. None of this fills me with huge swathes of anticipation. I message Dom and ask him if he has heard of them – he sends me back a GIF of Alan Partridge shrugging and holding a cheese on a fork. Helpful chap my husband.

So I press play – or rather I double-click on the first track a song called ‘Space and the Woods’. I’m not sure what to expect, because I have no idea what dance punk is supposed to sound like, but I’m fairly sure this isn’t it. This sounds more like the sort of noise your dad and uncle would come up with if they had six pints before lunch and decided to busk in the high street in order to get the cab fare home. Strangely compelling but really not that great.

mp3: Late of The Pier – Space and The Woods

Let’s try another track….

The second track is ‘The Bears are Coming’ which is a complete mishmash of noises. It bleeps, it bounces, it squelches, it screeches the singer yelps and yowls. I think it works but really folks I am probably way too uncool to understand what is going on here. It sounds like a one-man band has thrown himself down the stairs and landed inside a video game. Which, might actually be what they intended, in which case, bravo.

mp3: Late of The Pier – The Bears Are Coming

It does get better. These two tracks for instance:-

mp3: Late of The Pier – Focker
mp3: Late of The Pier – Bathroom Gurgle

‘Focker’ is better not because it has a brilliant title but because it is an actual pop song. A pop song that could have been written about forty years ago and could have featured in any film involving American High School shenanigans. It’s great.

‘Bathroom Gurgle’ is even better than ‘Focker’ because it is a glam rock disco stomp belter of a tune. Kind of like what you would get if Muse recorded ‘The Timewarp’ only without the obvious Queen rip-offs halfway through – actually Muse doing ‘The Timewarp’ would be better than this. I can’t think of another band that it sounds like though – when I email this SWC, I’ll let him think of one….

(SWC writes – Ok – ‘Bathroom Gurgle’ sounds like The Rapture torturing the life out of Disco Stu from the Simpsons. This is a good thing, its easiest the finest moment by Late of the Pier.)

So what have we learnt today.

Well firstly, we should all try and be more like Driver A.

Secondly, I still have no idea what dance punk is, and thirdly you can’t really trust anything that Dave Grohl says.

Thanks for reading.



7 thoughts on “RIPPING BADGERS CDs (Part 7): LATE OF THE PIER

  1. Well done KT.
    You made me feel like Driver A this morning as I very much liked Late of the Pier. There were a number of bands about 12-15 years ago in this vein – another couple were Filthy Dukes and The Whip who were more electronic in nature but easy to dance to. All these bands seemed to ‘stop’ for me when we got to about 2015(ish) when i didn’t hear any more stuff from them. I know The Whip made another album and got back together for festivals but I’m guessing like many bands nowadays it is a part time job rather than full time. Check out The Whip’s ‘X marks destination’ or even better Fujiya and Miyagi’s ‘Transparent Things’ if you like stuff like this.

  2. This was a totally new one for me. Had never heard of Late of The Pier far less knowingly listened to any of their songs….it shows how little I’ve tuned into contemporary music stations over the past 15 years – I suppose I can blame it on being too busy with TVV.

    I think I liked them in as much that I was intrigued enough to listen to all four tracks a couple of times. But I’m not sure if I could have endured repeated listenings. It would probably be one of those albums that I’d play once and never really make the time to do so I in full again.

    I once said you can never have such a thing as too much music…..but I’m having a bit of a rethink as there’s now something like 5,000 records and CDs scattered around Villain Towers, and a couple of hundred digital efforts on the hard drive via Bandcamp alone, on top of which there’s the times, like these, that I’ve picked up from the blogging lark. The choice of listening is too vast……

  3. Brilliant read. I have never heard of Late Of The Pier, and I will likely not hear about them again – but a brilliant read it was.
    We have a kid on our street who always wave and smile when I pass by, I always try to be driver A (spare the moustach).

  4. Well, that was a genius read. SWC or KT could write a post about buttering toast and it would be the best thing online that week. I’ll smile all day at this one.

  5. A thoroughly enjoyable read. I can’t drive, and certainly not a
    train, but I’d like to think I’d be Driver A. On some days I’d be
    Driver B though. Some would say Driver ‘C’ – but let’s stop at that.

    Anyone else now humming Driver 8?

  6. “Driver 8 take a break / We can reach our destination…” I’m a miserable bastard when I’m driving, mainly because I am clearly the only person on the road who knows how to drive properly. You know, like using my mirrors and indicators and everything. I’m not as bad as Driver B though, I could muster up a wave to a cheerful young child if one ever waved to me. But they never do…

    I echo everyone’s delight about the slight return of KT. I do hope we hear more from you. Unfortunately, I really can’t say anything nice about the tunes today, so I won’t say anything at all…

  7. I think I’m Driver A, my wife & daughter would probably say Driver B… Great post and finally, someone’s dared to speak out about Dave Grohl.

    Mike, funny you should mention Filthy Dukes. Of the very, very few Late Of The Pier songs I have – all remixes – one is their version of Bathroom Gurgle. Not drastically different, but slightly better than the original.

    The album was produced by Erol Alkan, better known (to me) for his remix work, particularly with Richard Norris as Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve.

    KT, I really hope this isn’t a one off, but thank you either way!

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