17 October 2008
As ever, I was looking for something this morning and got distracted entirely by finding something else in the process. A blank tape of some old show was what I wanted, but when my tape copy of Big Bang!, the Fuzzbox album of 1989, showed itself, I suddenly became 16 again. I haven't bothered resuming my search for the other tape.
Fuzzbox were ace. Excellent, in fact. You should agree with me right now, as I am right and it will make reading this entry much easier for you. All that XX Sex, we-can't-play-and-don't-care, faux-Goth garbage was usurped by an album which was brimmed with musicianship and wit. And, as a 16 year old lad of reassuringly normal hormonal imbalances, they were most welcome on the eye.
Big Bang! was a fine album, for the sort of audience it targetted and the state of British pop at the time. There were big guitar bits (Self!), dotty synth-based nonsenses (International Rescue), mad cover versions (Walking On Thin Ice), subtle samples (Versatile For Discos And Parties using Slave To The Rhythm) plus some real double-take moments, such as the semi-operatic Irish Bride. I doubt Vicki Thingy, the ultra-sultry singer, has ever been required to sing like that before or since.
The album represented their only period in the spotlight, during which time they proved they were dreadful mimers on telly, accepted they didn't take themselves remotely seriously and forever seemed to slag off Gloria Estefan. Vicki's facility to find a dual use for her microphone stand as some kind of self-pleasure device tipped lads like me over the edge. Please don't be offended by such an image (of me, not of Vicki - that image could never be offensive). Then there was Pink Sunshine - the great single, the big intro which was a Radio 1 Roadshow starter at least once a week through that whole summer.
Heritage: Vindaloo. That was the last liner note on the sleeve, a throwback nod to their old record label. Class. And while they had the sense to shorten their name for consumption purposes, they maintained the initial We've Got A Fuzzbox And We're Gonna Use It moniker in the small print throughout the album, including on the front. That's the name by which you'll still find them in your well-thumbed copies of well-known Guinness publications.
Any ideas what any of the Fuzzbox ladies are doing now?