Special feature on the band you either love . . . or hate We WERE bad, not satirists, insists Macc Lads singer
THE lead singer of the infamous Macc Lads has rejected a reappraisal of the band’s work which claimed they were misunderstood ‘satirists’.
Muttley McLad hit out at a newspaper article describing the band as ‘a subversive parody of unreconstructed macho bigotry’ saying it was ‘probably the worst thing that’s ever been said about us’.
Respected Guardian music critic Ian Gittins wrote that far from being the ‘sexist, chauvinistic boors’ they appeared, the group were actually ‘near the knuckle satirists’.
On the paper’s website, Gittins claimed the band were a ‘subversive parody of unreconstructed macho bigotry’.
But Muttley, aka Tristan O’Neill, said: “I don’t understand any of those words.”
The band, who happily proclaimed themselves as ‘the rudest, crudest and drunkenest band in Christendom’ burst onto the scene in 1981, releasing their first album Beer, Sex, Chips N Gravy in 1985. The lyrics are far too rude for the Express to print but Muttley (Tristan) insisted ‘nobody would bother about them today’ with the explicit rap lyrics people listen to.
He said: “It was just fun, the best fun I’ve ever had and ever will in my life.
“Fun is what rock n roll should be. People just go into the music business to get rich and famous now, whereas I would have done it for nothing.
“There was no ulterior motive, The Guardian are reading too much into it. Making us out to be witty, intelligent satirists is probably the worst thing that’s ever been said about us.”
The singer, now aged 60 and retired, said he wrote most of the band’s lyrics and that there is no chance of the band following the likes of others such as The Stone Roses, Pixies and The Police by reforming.
The controversial frontman said gigging was ‘a young man’s game’ and that people like the Rolling Stones who carried on were ‘embarrassing’.
But Macclesfield musician Garry White agreed with the Guardian’s verdict.
He said: “They absolutely were near the knuckle satirists. Tristan is a very clever man.
“The band had a massive reputation in Europe too that no-one knew about. When I was abroad and said I was from Macclesfield people would say, ah, the Macc Lads and would sing the lyrics.”
Doug Pickford, former Express editor, said: “The Macc Lads were outra- geous but very entertaining at the time. They flew the flag for Macclesfield but I don’t know which way they flew it!”
●● Macc Lads frontman Tristan O’Neill (Muttley McLad) on stage, above, and the boys in promotional photos during their notorious 1980s and 1990s career