Category Archives: music

Big Palookas yaroo moment

Look, this is important, dammit.

Remember how in the mid 80s there was a band called the Palookas who played/drank regularly in The Three Crowns in Stoke Newington?

image loading‘Phantom of the Gaumont’. ‘Cufflinks’ (The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand’s up to and the right hand doesn’t seem to know where the left hand’s gone).

Grinding bass and scratchy, demented guitar.

The band was fronted by Jowe Head who was in The Swell Maps and wore soviet boots and a commissar’s hat. The guitarist (Paul?) painted psychedelic stuff and Rastafarian dogs all over the walls of the pub which prompted the police to raid and put the manager in the cells over night. The police said that the painting encouraged drug taking but they got that the wrong way round.

And then the Palookas made an album and did a Europe tour and I went to New York and when I came back, the Three Crowns was no longer the Three Crowns. And then I went to Japan. I tried again and again over the past 25 years to find some Palookas recordings and never could (though I did find the Larks’ album Maggie Maggie Maggie, but that’s a different story.

Palookas: pretty much the sound track to my college days. Our band from our favourite pub. What memories as the sentimental old farts like to say, but an evening in the Crowns was not very compatible with remembering stuff.

Talking of remembering, it just came back to me that Max Splodge & Splodgenessabounds used to hang out there and perform while standing on the tables. Palookas, The Larks and Splodge: not bad for one pub.

The Crowns also figures in my unpublished story ‘Eric Loses His Head’ and pops up in ‘The Freebie‘ as The Kropotkin Arms.

Well, in a break during an editing marathon today, I suffered an impulse and rummaged a bit online and had a YAROO! moment.

I found that there’s now a sort of best of Palookas album, titled Rectify, on iTunes, with The Phantom of the Gaumont and Cufflinks and many other tunes, and the same grinding bass and the same scratchy guitar and now I want to pick up my own guitar and paint Rastafarian dogs on my own wall and I seem to have forgotten about my editing marathon. My life is near complete.

I believe it might be time to get very drunk and listen to the album very loud and bore all my friends about it.

Better get started, then.


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