If you ever want an example of a band that steadfastly kept the spirit of punk alive some 20 years after, to all intent and purposes it had crashed and burned, I would draw your attention to the merits (or otherwise) of Thee Headcoats who recorded almost 20 albums between 1989 and 2000.

The man at the heart of this three-piece combo was Billy Childish. It would take thousands of words to try to explain his continued role in music and art in the UK going back to the late 70s and continuing to this day. A summary, edited down from this extensive wiki entry would be he’s a painter, author, poet, photographer, film maker, singer and guitarist, prolific in creating music, writing and visual art. He is controversial – some say he’s a genius and others say he’s a charlatan – and he’s courted controversy for the explicit and provocative nature of a lot of his work.

He’s rarely, if indeed ever, cared what the critics and, in particular the music press, think about him as can be heard from this song released in 1998.

mp3 : Thee Headcoats – (We Hate The Fuckin’) NME

That was one of the tracks on the LP The Messerschmitt Pilot’s Severed Hand released on Damaged Goods, one of the foremost and longest-running indie labels in the UK specialising, for the most part in the alternative leftfield side of things. The title track had previously been released as a 7″ single on the San Francisco based Smartguy Records, with the b-side being quite possibly the angriest ever song title:-

mp3 : Thee Headcoats – The Messerschmitt Pilot’s Severed Hand
mp3 : Thee Headcoats – I’ve Been Fuckin’ Your Daughters and Pissing On Your Lawn

It won’t be to everyone’s taste (mine included!) but hey, sometime I like to push the envelope.