Today’s entry comes with a cockney nudge n’ wink and a nod to Eastenders, simply because I’m heading off to a BBQ being held on the real Albert Square (the square it’s based on rather than the actual Walford set in Elstree).
Don’t worry, I’m not about to extol the virtues of Ricky Butcher’s short lived reggae career, no, this involves another Ricky and his association with a former ‘Ender.
Actor Gary Beadle played the misunderstood career criminal of the square Paul Trueman but in real life Beadle’s had a burgeoning career having worked alongside Julien Temple, Jean Claude Van Damme, and in his Pretty Boy Gee guise, Ricky Rennalls of Cool Ghoul records.
A mysterious figure, Rennalls dipped his fingers in many musical pies, most infamously in the early days of UK rap and electro, having released the 1st recognised UK rap record “Thatcher Rap” and later with Beadle’s City Limits Crew and the short lived Tuff Groove label. I even read somewhere that he ran an electro night in the mid 80’s with former Special Jerry Dammers, which ties this tale together as prior to Thatcher Rap the 1st two Cool Ghoul releases featured the exact kind of loose roots we love on these pages.
A tenuous tale I know but we got here in the end, and sadly there’s almost no info about Phantom’s “Lazy Fascist”. I did hear a rumour that it’s Tom Robinson of 2-4-6-8 Motorway and now BBC6 fame, something which seems highly unlikely given the lyrical content.
Lazy Fascist is another borderline punk-reggae contender, it’s production proficient enough for it to be considered an actual roots reggae release but there’s a spiky streak running through it’s inimical swagger, and the subject and delivery stand shoulder to shoulder with it’s Rock Against Racism contemporaries of the time.
Though I must admit I prefer the dub, the vocal is a main ingredient in what makes this Skank Blog worthy so here’s Phantom’s “Lazy Fascist” from ’78…