Burning Badgers Vinyl – The Lost EP’s #5 – Casserole EP – Compulsion (Fabulon Records 1993)
“So why do they call you Badger then?” the woman asks a tea sipping Badger in the lounge of a hotel in Worcester. We are all at a conference in Worcester, it is the first break and we have hot footed it to the lounge to get the comfy seats. I look at Badger and I see a plan forming in his head. He’s trying to work out which story to tell this woman. He usually opts for one of three tried and tested stories. He rarely opts for option four, which is the true reason – the last person he told that to was KT and he was drunk then.
The first story is that Badger has a secret badger hide in his garden, there every day at dusk he wanders down to it and throws peanuts, monkey nuts and jaffa cakes (because badgers love the smashing orange-y bit) on to the ground and watches gleefully as the badgers emerge from the ground and frolic playfully in his garden. People tend to believe this, but they always question the jaffa cake bit, I’ve told him to change it to digestive biscuits as I can totally imagine a badger eating a digestive biscuit.
The second is that Badger once played the part of Badger in a stage version of The Wind in the Willows and loved the costume so much that he kept it and now performs at children’s parties as ‘Super Badger’. His wife having lovingly sewed a giant ‘SB’ on to the front of the costume. He tends to tell visitors from America this version of events. No idea why.
The third reason is that he had a dog when he was a child called Badger and his dad was fonder of the dog that he was of Tim. So when the dog passed away, his dad started calling Tim, Badger and it just sort of stuck. That one to be fair is a conversation stopper and usually reserved for people he doesn’t like.
“Well…” he says, giving the woman a pearly white smile, who is called Pauline and is from Blackburn, and is totally flirting with Badger by the way (Ten hours later in the bar about four minutes walk from the hotel where we are sat, she will whisper something suggestive into Badgers ear, and then get up and nip to the ladies. Badger will then down his pint, grab me by the arm and say “we are leaving. Now.”).
” it’s because at the bottom of my garden…..” he looks at me and I, knowing my cue, come in all prepared “Are those Badgers still eating jaffa cakes..?” I say.
About three minutes later, a bald man chips into the conversation, he wasn’t asked to comment but kind of seized on a dramatic pause. He also from Blackburn and is called Derek. “You ever eaten badger…?” he asks. I nearly choke on my Twinnings Earl Grey and Badger looks amazed. “Well, no, I haven’t, I mean bearing in mind, I basically consider the ones in the garden to be pets” he says, hoping that will finish off that conversation. It doesn’t, however stop Derek.
“Rather like beef” he says, “we found one on a road over the moor at Ilkely once, freshly killed, by a car, so the wife and I popped it in the back of the pickup, took it to a butcher friend of ours and made a casserole out of it, it were very nice” he says.
At this revolting thought people start to drift away from the lounge and back to the relative comfort of the conference room. Badger looks at me and says “Should have gone with the dog, then again Derek has probably eaten one of those as well”. This sadly is true, as Derek tells us later on that evening. He munched on a poodle called Fido (probably) in Vietnam, it was a bit like chicken apparently. In case you were wondering his favourite road kill treat is ‘squirrel’.
All of which decent reasons for turning vegan lead us the last of the Lost EP’s found in Badger’s box and it once that fills my ears with joy because it’s the second EP released by brilliant Irish punk poppers Compulsion.
To say that I loved Compulsion is something of an understatement – I once went to see them at a venue called The Forum in Tunbridge Wells (which literally used to be a public toilet), with my mate Dave. After the gig we legged it to the train station and arrived there exhausted to see the last time slowly chugging its way out of the station. Drunk on cider and the thrills of seeing a wonderful band we decided to walk home, in the dark, fuelled on Lion Bars and Paprika flavoured Kettle Chips, not realising, or rather not caring really, that it was nine miles.
I can’t believe that Badger had this incredible piece of music and didn’t tell me about it. I used to bang on about Compulsion all the bloody time to him. For the record, not once did he turn round and say “You know what I’ve got one of their early and pretty rare EPs stashed away in my garage, nestled in between an old Daisy Chainsaw 12” (more of them in a later piece) and something by long forgotten shouty industrial types Nitzerebb, come round and I’ll let you have it” (it was genuinely housed in between the two bands I have mentioned above, and no I won’t be posting the Nitzerebb tracks because they are utterly useless) .
Compulsion split in 1997 I think, two of the members went on to far greater success, Garrett Lee who played guitar (I think) went to release cool coffee table drum and bass as Spring Heel Jack and then reinvent himself as uber producer Jacknife Lee.
Sid Rainey who played bass (I think) went on to write children’s stories and his books ‘Underground Ernie’ are very popular with Cbeebies viewers everywhere. I think they may even be voiced by the leader of the Labour Party, Gary Lineker.
Josephmary the shouty singer disappeared from the music scene when the band split and now lives in Ireland. I hope he’s well, because he was brilliant.
‘Casserole’ is incredible, six tracks of frantic pop punk that if I was thirty years younger would make me throw myself around the lounge, especially the first two tracks. The lead track is this
mp3: Compulsion – Accident Ahead
Which has possibly the best opening line in musical history,
“looks like raw liver, her face….”.
It also has a tremendous riff running through and a stupendously catchy chorus which will stick in your brains for days.
Track 2, starts, almost as brilliantly as ‘Accident Ahead’. The opening line goes
“Professor Green was the author of everything, his students claim”.
It’s far more poppy than ‘Accident Ahead’ and less angry as well. In fact this is almost certainly the bands finest moment, apart from ‘Mall Monarchy’ that is.
mp3: Compulsion – Yabba Yabba Yes Yes
Here are the rest of the tracks that make up the ‘Casserole EP’.
mp3: Compulsion – Crying
mp3: Compulsion – How Do I Breathe?
mp3: Compulsion – Here Comes Ambrose Beasley
I did hope this would be a tribute to the character from Emmerdale who used to run the Woolpack pub, but obviously that was Amos Brearly, not Ambrose Beasley, who as far as can tell, has never appeared in Emmerdale.
mp3: Compulsion – Security
Up until this point in time, I only had one track in the collection by Compulsion, and it is the aforementioned very minor hit single which was part of one of the indie CD compilations back in the day:-
mp3: Compulsion – Mall Monarchy
This was released in March 1987 and reached the giddy heights of #87.
Oh and for any of our overseas readers who didn’t quite understand the cultural references:-
The Leader of the Labour Party (Not, Gary Lineker)