Thursday, 14 June 2018

Top Tens: The Papashangos' Top Ten Punk Rock Influences

Hi I'm Lolly Shango and I sing for THE PAPASHANGOS, also put on local gigs as half of Weird and Raw Promotions, and run a new festival for weird and raw bands called The Unholy Messtival.

Top ten influences

1. Jazz
I grew up in a household where jazz records were always playing. My dad liked the smooth and classic swing stuff, but my mum loved nouveau jazz, all quirky rhythms and odd squeals. I learned to find beauty in challenging, discordant music.

2. The Beatles
My parents also loved the Beatles, mainly their earlier, more melodic poppy stuff. But, when I heard tracks like Helter Skelter and Revolution my ear started to adapt to a harsher, less controlled rock sound, which prepared me for punk.

3. Early 80s rock and metal
Iron Maiden and Blue Oyster Cult started my love of rock, Motorhead and AC/DC cemented it.

4. The Ruts
I heard Babylon's Burning on Top of the Pops and nearly had a fit. Love that song, it blew my mind.

5. Iggy and the Stooges - Raw Power
That album broke me. I love the scratchy, uneven production, the bass, the guitars, the vocals and the songs. I played Hard to Beat (Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell) on my crappy stereo until I knew it better than any other song ever. When I later started playing bass myself, I used to try to sneak a bass lick from that song into at least one tune in the set.

6. The Ramones, Sex Pistols, The Damned
These were the big three for me, once I went full on punk. I doubt I could say anything new about them, but The Damned are personally responsible for my attempts to write music. I learned a couple of easy chords from the sleeve notes of Machine Gun Etiquette, and that was that...

7. Oi! Music
I have all the the first Oi! compilations on vinyl. Loved them. The music and lyrics were usually dumb and often unintentionally hilarious, but many of the songs still have a kind of simple, primal power that's hard to match.

8. Inner City Unit
An offshoot of Hawkwind, this was an amazing band that incorporated everything from punk to ska to folk to jazz into a truly unique sound.

9. Val Kilmer as Nick Rivers in the film Top Secret
If you ever catch one of our shows, you'll see the influence this sequence has on my personal performance style...I'm not as graceful, though!

10. Rude Boy (1980)
The film about Clash roadie Ray Gange. I remember enjoying the film. In my memory it's a bit of a precursor to the mumblecore style of filmmaking that was popular a while ago, but it's the live footage of the Clash performing Police and Thieves that really stuck with me. Up until I saw that, I'd always taken it as a fact of life that live performances are inferior to recorded versions of songs. In my opinion, the version of Police and Thieves on the first Clash album is lifeless and boring. It's a track I always skip. However, the live version on Rude Boy....

It's like a whole different song. Incredibly infectious, engaging and passionate. I love it, and it helped to make me a more active fan of live music, no longer satisfied with just buying records.

Those are my personal top ten influences. I hope they're interesting and perhaps a bit surprising.

This is my band:

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