Mr Java Man

I’m currently juggling the final throws of an album mixdown, the ins and outs of licensing tracks for the Spiky Dread comp (we have 12 out of 14 so almost there), and a yearning to catch some modest rays before we wave goodbye to our unexpected March heatwave down in dismal old Albion.

Add to that an imminent whirlwind mini-tour of Bristol and Brighton this weekend and I’ve got just enough time for another skanky selection, and staying on the previous Vaultage tip, I’ve picked out a more downbeat number from The Piranhas’ genre straddling repertoire.

Brighton’s Piranhas were another group showcased on the aforementioned Vaultage 78, breaking out of the local punk scene when John Peel championed their heavy stepping rock-reggae crossover I Don’t Want My Body before climbing the charts with a knees-up revisioning of the South African traditional Tom Hark in 1980.

Between that they brewed up this paranoid paean to post-pub wooing. Drenched in reversed reverb, creeping pace of Coffee suggests something more ominous than a simple invite back to “Boring” Bob Grover’s gaff for a cup of java. Bob’s monotone delivery adds a desperate and threatening edge to the everyman subject matter, not to mention the disheartening discovery that there actually wasn’t any coffee in the cupboards.

Personally I prefer tea anyway…

The Piranhas performing (dancing to) Tom Hark on Top Of The Pops.

And the pixie-voiced Millie Small’s own ska rendering of Tom Hark almost 20 years prior…


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