28 May 2008

Stump - Buffalo

Year of Release: 1986
Label: Ron Johnson Records

Precious little can be said about the above song which hasn't been said already. Perhaps the only surprising thing left to mention about it is the fact that apparently the lyrics - which I originally read as being surreal nonsense - are actually supposedly observations of a set of large American tourists the band saw wandering around their hometown of Cork. Lines such as "big bottom, swing big bottom" were seemingly about their walking style, whereas "How much is the fish? Does the fish have chips?" and "How do I get off the bus?" are therefore presumably parodies of dopey tourist enquiries, or else actual questions which were overheard (and I've heard more absurd ones in Camden, trust me).

Stump did eventually sign to a major label, which seems utterly unfathomable now, the kind of thing that would never pass through the portals of EMI or Universal unchecked in the demographic and marketing obsessed noughties. It's not that they didn't deserve some sort of success, but their experimental leanings almost guaranteed a cult audience and little more. Still, as a great many people have since realised, "Buffalo" has both a musical and comedic appeal which is quite unique, and deserves to be rediscovered by a whole new generation. A lot of their other material is pretty damn good as well.

An anthology of their work was issued on CD by Sanctuary Records this year, which is worthy of a look.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The video linked is the version that was re-recorded for the album, and not the original Ron Johnson records release that appeared on the C86 compilation. I still remember the first time I heard the tune, spinning the C86 vinyl, falling over laughing. I wasn't sure if it was brilliant or terrible. Not surprisingly I prefer the original, having heard it first.