As far as I know (and if you’ve been following Skank Blog closely you’ll know I know very little) Family Fodder were a loose art collective who orbited an even looser myriad of musicians, poets, performance artists and freaks that haunted the dimly lit streets of Camberwell in the bypassed heart of South London. A scene which spawned post-punk and art-rock linchpins This Heat, Officer! and chart toppers Flying Lizards.
Much like their luminaries, Family Fodder defied category; the first few minutes of their debut album Sunday Girls alone boasts a sonic bricolage of styles, encompassing electropop, punk-disco and psych-rock, and as the fuzz fades from Good Times Underwater, we’re treated to perhaps one of the most uneasy skankers to be heard here on these pages.
No Man’s Land is a growling monster of a rhythm meandering around the village green, folk tinged (dis)harmonies battling through the distorted racket while the tape echo bubbles underneath. The song itself may be familiar as it’s a cover of Syd Barrett from his 2nd solo effort The Madcap Laughs released soon after he left his band mates to traverse the mainstages of poxy-prog superstardom.
A spurious sideline to this tale; years ago I was led to believe that the infamous, yet fairly boring footage of Syd Barrett’s First Trip was filmed in a park in Camberwell where we’d sometimes wile away our lunch breaks watching tramp boxing matches* played out in inebriated slow motion. Sadly I was later informed that it’s in fact Gog Magog Hills in Cambridge, which makes more sense in posh-prog terms.
Once again I digress so before you all doze off at your laptops, here’s the bastardised Barrett number in question…
And here’s Syd Barrett’s First Trip if you like that sort of thing.
*I should add I don’t condone any form of violence but the rickety movements of these tramps attempting to box was more like ballet, all be it with a slightly pissy aroma.