Thursday, 30 March 2017

Top Tens: Colin's Top Ten [Spunge] Songs

Long time readers of Colin's Punk Rock World will know that one of the bands that really opened my eyes to the world of UK underground punk rock were Tewkesbury's [Spunge]. The long running band became somewhat of an obsession of mine to the point that to this day every word of near enough every single one of their songs is ingrained in my brain. [Spunge] have a tour coming up in June so I figured that this would be a good time do my top ten [Spunge] songs.

10. Hang On? from Hang On?

When the album Hang On? was released in was released in 2014 it was the band's first new material in seven years! What I really loved about the album was the shift towards a more mature sound, whilst keeping all of the cheeky ska punk sound that [Spunge] built their career on. Hang On?, the song, starts with a slow reggae track before gradually building towards a powerful and moving rock 'n' roll finale that we've not often heard from [Spunge].

9. Some Suck Some Rock from That Should Cover It

Some Suck Some Rock first appeared as one of two brand new original tracks on the mini album That Should Cover It and has become a massive live favourite since. Guitarist Damon Robin's opening chords always get a massive reaction at [Spunge] gigs before lead singer Alex Copeland's distinctive vocals sings a track lamenting different music scenes and being proud of being part of the ska scene despite peoples negative opinion's on it.

8. Jump On Demand from The Story So Far

Jump On Demand is [Spunge]'s most successful single, charting at number at number 39 in the UK chart in 2002. It would probably be higher up on my list but I often get slightly irritated by it at live shows. The chorus goes "Jump Jump Jump Can't Understand It When People Demand It." To me that implies that you shouldn't jump when people demand it, so why at a live show do people jump along with the band during this song? - it makes no sense. That said, I do jump along and have the greatest time. Jump On Demand is a great song about sticking it to the man.

7. Angel With A Pint Glass from Pedigree Chump

For me, Angel With A Pint Glass is one of [Spunge]'s most underrated songs. Released on their debut album Pedigree Chump waaayyyy back in 1999, it was the first time I heard [Spunge] really play a slower, reggae style song and absolutely loved. It's really a quite lovely song lyrically as well, as the band tells a story about wanting to ask out a girl and regretting not having the courage to do it.

6. Ego from Room For Abuse

Ego is another [Spunge] classic, originally released on 2000's Room For Abuse album before being rereleased on The Story So Far in 2002. Ego is about feeling like the biggest rock star before getting completely humbled when you get on stage knowing you're doing what you love with your best friends.

5. One More Go from Self Titled

One More Go was released as a single in 2005 before getting released properly on the band's self titled album in 2007. [Spunge] have always written fantastic sing-a-long tracks but One More Go is a cut above most of them. Packed with plenty of whoa-ohs that really get the crowd going, One More Go is about not giving in if you fall down, picking yourself up and trying again. A fantastic positive song that will have you singing, dancing and feeling inspired.

4. Too Little Too Late from The Story So Far

Too Little Too Late is the final track from The Story So Far, my favourite [Spunge] album. One of the few [Spunge] songs that strays away from their trademark ska sound but is still so damn good. I love a good build in a song and Too Little Too Late does that brilliantly. Alex's voice is absolutely superb on this track as he sings about trying to learn from mistakes even if it's too late to fix them.

3. Kicking Pigeons from Pedigree Chump

Kicking Pigeons is the song that started everything for [Spunge]. Back in 1998 the Kicking Pigeons EP sold 5000 copies at pub gigs and convinced the band to go full time. I for one am bloody glad that they did. Almost twenty five years later, it's still a firm favourite amongst fans old and new. If ever someone thinks about [Spunge], there is no doubt that this is one of the first tracks that come to mind. It's kind of a silly song about finding a way to get out your frustrations and anger by kicking pigeons in the park. Seeing it live and skanking along is one of the most fun things you'll ever do in your life.

2. Friend Called Fred from The Story So Far

The penultimate track from The Story So Far and another huge fan favourite is Friend Called Fred. This track is about having an imaginary friend that encourages you to get into mischief. Kind of like having a devil on your shoulder. Something I really love about Friend Called Fred is the harmonies that happen towards the end of the song before the big finale. Probably the best harmonies throughout the band's entire discography. Great on record and at a live show.

1. Roots from The Story So Far

Roots was the first [Spunge] song I ever heard and has remained one of my all time favourite songs since. I first heard it around the same time me and my three best friends left secondary school and started to go our separate ways. This was a particularly trying time for me as I felt like I was left behind. The song is about not forgetting where you came from and forgetting the people who helped shape you into the person you become. Kind of ironically the meaning of the song has come round full circle as I've now left my home town and left a lot of people behind and am now making sure that I don't forget about the people who helped to shape me. Musically this track falls more into the punk side of things than the ska but it still has that unique quality that will get a crowd skanking away and having the time of their lives.

This top ten was written by Colin Clark.