No­to­ri­ous Macc Lads were ‘satirists’ says mu­sic critic

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE -

THEY prided them­selves on be­ing one of the most shock­ing bands of the 1980s with songs about sex, take­aways and heavy drink­ing.

But a new ap­praisals of Mac­cles­field cult band The Macc Lads claims that far from be­ing ‘sex­ist, chau­vin­is­tic boors’, the group were ac­tu­ally ‘near the knuckle satirists’.

A new fea­ture in The lib­eral Guardian news­pa­per has hailed the band - the self-pro­claimed ‘the rud­est, crud­est and drunk­est band in Chris­ten­dom - as a ‘sub­ver­sive par­ody of un­re­con­structed macho big­otry’.

The ar­ti­cle ar­gues that had the band ap­peared in the 1990’s era of Loaded mag­a­zine, lad rock and ‘know­ing irony’, rather than the po­lit­i­cally cor­rect 1980s, they would have been ‘li­onised’.

Re­spected mu­sic critic Ian Git­tins wrote: “[Their songs were] more than out­ra­geous enough to get them con­demned in the court of lib­eral opin­ion, yet lis­ten closely and the Macc Lads were al­ways a sub­ver­sive par­ody of such un­re­con­structed macho big­otry.

“The an­ti­heroes of their songs were hap­less, clue­less car­i­ca­tures, punky equiv­a­lents of Viz’s Sid the Sex­ist: the joke was ul­ti­mately on them.”

The band be­gan life in Mac­cles­field in 1981, and de­vel­oped a cult fan base with their de­but al­bum Beer Sex Chips N Gravy, Swetty Betty and Filthy, Fat and Flat­u­lent.

They were banned from many stu­dents unions across the coun­try and had to re­sort to hir­ing flatbed trucks and play­ing guer­rilla gigs on the streets. The band was even re­fused en­try to the US in the 1990s af­ter hor­ri­fied cus­toms of­fi­cials read their lyric sheets.

The lineup was lead singer Mut­t­ley McLad (Tris­tan O’Neill), The Beater on guitar (Ge­of­frey Con­ning) and Stez Styx on drums (Steve Hat­ton), with other mem­bers com­ing and go­ing over the years.

They lived at ‘Hec­tic House’ on Sun­der­land Street and played big venues all over the coun­try.

They were also banned from play­ing in Mac­cles­field as trou­ble broke out among over-ex­cited fans – play­ing a fi­nal pri­vate gig in 1997.

It is not the first time the work of the band has been lat­terly re-eval­u­ated.

Pro­fes­sor Philip Kiszely wrote on the Louder Than Bombs web­site: “It’s com­edy; it’s par­ody.

“Just be­cause the ma­te­rial is set to mu­sic doesn’t au­to­mat­i­cally mean the words must come from the heart.”

He then went on to com­pare the band with Steve Coogan’s boor­ish par­ody Paul Calf.

Are the Macc Lads mis­un­der­stood? Email us your views at mac­cles­field­ex­press@ men­media.co.uk.

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