8 January 2017

Circus Circus Circus - Inside The Inside Out Man/ No Hips



Label: BDI
Year of Release: 1987

When Rik Mayall passed away, one of the things I expected to go a tiny bit viral - but never did - was the clip of him appearing in a music video with the obscure eighties indie band Circus Circus Circus. During the promo for their debut single "Butcher Bitches", Mayall plays the role of a nerdish fan of the group, aping their dress sense and their moves (right down to falling over when one of their guitarists accidentally hits the deck). I'd be a liar if I claimed it was a red-hot, top grade Mayall performance, but it was done for free when he was feeling unwell, and entirely for the benefit of a band who didn't even have a proper record deal at that point. If nothing else, I felt that it underlined his good nature and his spirit, as well as being a performance which had barely ever been repeated anywhere.

"Butcher Bitches" was a fairly swinging piece of garage rock and roll, and didn't really prepare anybody for their follow up. While "Inside The Inside Out Man", written about Francis Bacon, initially has a faintly "House of the Rising Sun" air of doom and despondency about it, it's closer in style to the moodier indie releases of the day; more long mac and shades than cardigans and NHS glasses. It's also really rather good. Filled to the brim with moody guitar riffs and quivering sixties vocal harmonies, it's a huge leap forward from their debut. It managed to get television exposure on "The Chart Show" at the point of its release, but they never gained serious traction in the indie charts despite the publicity - and two more singles later ("Magic Girl" and "Under The Library") and they threw in the towel. An album was recorded but never released, something which somebody could consider remedying.

The group were formed in Beckenham, South London in 1985 and consisted of Doug Hart on vocals, Ric Clark and Mark Shaw on guitars, Richard Bentley on bass guitar and Rich Spicer on drums. 


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