Shane MacGowan’s 70s punk band The Nipple Erectors will be playing a reunion set at London’s 100 Club this coming Tuesday 6 May, supported by cult ’77 punk rocker Johnny Moped and Seattle power pop band The Cute Lepers.
Years before rising to fame with The Pogues, MacGowan raised hell as a first generation London punk. Notorious for his heavy drinking even then, he was furthermore an embarrassing example for ‘what not to wear’ in the fashion-conscious Roxy Club punk milieu. When forming the Nipple Erectors in 1978, he donned the amateur punk outfit for a teddy boy look to suit the 50s-rock’n’roll-gone-punk concept of the band. After only one single (King Of The Bop, Soho Records 1978), they changed their moniker to The Nips and went for a more Pretty Things influenced 60s garage and rhythm & blues style. This Tuesday, Frenchman Eric Ulcer of garage scenesters King Salami and the Cumberland 3 will play drums for The Nipple Erectors.
Johnny Moped’s 1978 album Cycledelic is punk rock as seen through the eyes of a drunk Croydon geezer. It features a cover version of Chuck Berry’s Little Queenie sung with an annoying falsetto voice and a song called Wee Wee, but also the absolutely ripping Incendiary Device. The inner sleeve (see below) is testimony to the fact that political correctness was not Johnny Moped’s forte.
A classic in its own right, Cycledelic is the nightmare of academics who seek to attach a deeper social and cultural meaning to the punk movement. Watch an incredibly rare 1974 pre-punk live performance of the Johnny Moped Band (with Captain Sensible, later of The Damned, on guitar) here.
Although Moped was offered good money to tour some European countries in the 80s and 90s, it proved too difficult to get him out of his local South London pub. If MacGowan and Moped both manage to show up on Tuesday, this will be a rare treat indeed.
Whether you want to celebrate London’s most unfashionable 70s punk bands or are simply interested in this event as a case study in alcoholism, you are advised to hurry as there are not many tickets left.