Friday, 24 July 2009

The AK47's - Don't Call Me Vanilla

The AK47's, also known as the Tottenham AK47's, were one of the bands were involved in the squat or so-called crusty scene in London in the early 1990's, along with bands like Back To The Planet, Radical Dance Faction, Community Charge (from Manchester), Ruff Ruff `n' Ready, Citizen Fish, The Sea, Senser, Credit To The Nation and countless others. The AK47's played, what could be best described as punk-fused reggae, using anarcho political, and even Irish Republican messages over dubby rhythms. For me they had a raw edge and were great live and evoke some great memories.

The LP `Don't Call Me Vanilla' was released on the Rugger Bugger label in 1991, and I have just listened to it for the first time in a few years. Some songs on the album to were and still are, lyric-wise a tad naive, what with the promotion of "food for nothing" on `Downward Spiral', some curiously insightful lyrics on the troubles in Northern Ireland for a band from England on `Spirit Of Resistance'/`Tiocfaidh Ar La', and advice for us not to trust the middle classes, vicars and MP's from left wing parties on `Cop Cars'.

The album kind of annoyed me at the time, and one of the reasons is mentioned above. However, there are some very good songs on here including `One Hand' (about women left at home with the kids ironing while daddy's off fighting a revolution..) and `Chillin' - an instrumental.

Back in 1990 I preferred the intelligent meanderings of Chris Bowsher's poems with Radical Dance Faction, or Citizen Fish and Dick Lucas's ceaseless energy and positive lyrics, which were so clever that anything else at the time from bands of a similar ilk, such as the AK47's just sounded banal and irrelevant in comparison. But at the time, it was all about where the next party in a timber yard in New Cross was happening.

No clips available for this one. Happy hunting!

1 comment:

  1. Good band. Jim and Jell were twins and played bass and drums and Derek played guitar. Jonna who played bongos and percussion moved back up to the NOrth East and joined my old band Roughneck Sounds. Other members of Roughneck Sounds came from the Anarcho band AOS 3
    Still got my copy of "Don't Call me..." but have none of the roughneck album