Notorious Macc Lads were ‘satirists’ says music critic
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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