UK Ska Legends BAD MANNERS finally return down under for a Greatest Hits Tour. Fronted by Buster Bloodvessel with his exceptionally long tongue, big personality and even bigger figure, bald-headed Buster and BAD MANNERS have a huge set of fun original pop ska – Lip Up Fatty, Special Brew, Walking In The Sunshine, Lorraine, Just A Feeling, My Girl Lollipop, Inner London Violence and of course the ultimate knees up Can Can.
BAD MANNERS quickly became the favourites of the Ska movement through their wild on-stage antics, sheer joviality and obnoxious amounts of energy. Bad Manners were at their peak most popular during the late 1970s and early 1980s, during a period when other ska revival bands, such as Madness and The Specials, The Beat and The Selecter, filled the charts. BAD MANNERS spent a staggering 111 weeks in the UK Singles Chart between 1980 and 1983. One of the main reasons for their notoriety was Buster Bloodvessel whose wild onstage antics and eccentric behaviour got them banned from Top of the Pops
UK originators BAD MANNERS are keeping the flame alive ensuring ska remains as strong as ever both as a heritage movement and one attracting new fans. Buster Bloodvessel talks to Hi Fi Way about their Australian tour.
You must be feeling really excited about finally coming back to back to Australia for another tour?
Excited about it. And the most excited thing I’m about to do when I get there is eat pies! You do have the best pies. Yes! One’s with cheese in it. Meats and cheese I love! You think you’ve got the best pie? Yeah! No, but you are all so fit yet the everyone eats pies, just doesn’t make sense to me, but you know, who am I? Do you think that the meat pies are better than the New Zealanders? [No idea!]
What stands out from the last Australian tour?
Yes, yes. Well, I’ve got lots of memories of good times in Australia. A wonderful country, wonderful people and really up for partying, which I’m always happy to say. I can’t think of anything straight off the top of my head.
Playing the greatest hits on this tour must be exciting seeing how these songs still mean to people?
Yes, we’ve been doing it an awful long time and they still go down so well. I think you could think that certain songs may not last, but they certainly do in Bad Manners. That’s awesome!
Have the songs changed much over time?
They haven’t changed, they’ve just gotten better really. Some people say to me, how do you do it for so long and is it still fresh? Yes, it is still fresh. Quite amazingly that I’ll sing a song like Lip Up Fatty possibly a thousand times and still it becomes like a great song and I can’t wait to play it when I’m up on that stage.
Does it sort of still amaze you the power that some of these songs still have?
Well, that’s a yes, and of course that’s the problem is what songs do we do when we’ve only got an hour, possibly an hour and a half to play. So, it’s the problem that we have and of course you have to give the support band a bit of time. It’s quite a, an intense evening when you come out to a Bad Manners show at the moment. We’re playing longer than we normally play and fitting it all in and of course enjoying it. The fun aspect is that we still enjoy it.
Do you enjoy it more now than you ever have before?
I think I do actually. When I think about some of the shows that we’ve done this year, like festivals, very big festivals, we seem to win so well on festivals, we get everyone going. It’s got to be our age as well, but the fact that we get everybody dancing and enjoying the songs it makes me such a happy person.
Are you please when you see the generational shift in your fan base and how your music is reaching a younger audience through Spotify?
It is amazing that we’re still growing in that respect and when we put on gigs, the fact that it’s not just all old people that you would think it possibly would be, but it’s a lots of young people as well that just started to get into the music. It is really amazing to see.
Is it a tough call these days what you leave out of the set list?
So many good songs and of course the band because it’s a changing band all the time, they don’t know all the good songs, not all of them. It is down to me to choose the songs that we go with and of course I have to go with anything that’s lively and get people going as well as anything that was a hit. We had to leave out some of the hits because of time. We’re approaching fifty years of being in Bad Manners and you have to release a, a new album for the fiftieth year and I promise that we’ll be touring again in the fiftieth year as long as health is on my side. We’ll be playing all the hits plus a few new ones and hopefully it’ll be a fantastic tour. As of the tour now, I can see that this is going to be a bit of a wonderful tour in as much as we’ll be playing all the hits that people really love.
Do you get excited about the idea of making new music and a new album and going through that process?
I’m really excited about that. We haven’t been in the studio for so long, we had it planned for when Covid was coming along, but we never did anything because we weren’t allowed to meet each other, so we never did anything in the Covid time. It’s when we were supposed to do an album. Since then, it’s gone mental, everybody in the world wants to see us again.
Interview By Rob Lyon
Catch Bad Manners on the following dates. Tickets from Metropolis Touring…