Friday, 30 August 2019

Doc Mustard and the Cobalt Kid - Nudie Beaches (1986) C20

It probably isn't called Nudie Beaches. It probably isn't called anything, but that's the first track and Demo is boring, even if that's what it is. I don't have a cover for this, or even the original tape as this was a demo I copied onto another tape with a load of other stuff.

Doc Mustard was Andrew Oliver, a much-loved busker of Coventry and then somewhere or other in Cornwall, who passed on just a couple of weeks ago so this is additionally a sort of tribute. Back in the eighties he was half of Doc Mustard and the Cobalt Kid - little fat guy with one of those faces which meant he always looked surprised playing the synth, plus a beanpole-style hairy metal dude in stripy trousers in guitar solo heaven so er... Soft Cell with more of a Benny Hill vibe, maybe. Oliver was something in the Coventry music scene for a while, playing in various ska or reggae bands of the time. I saw him when he played Maidstone College of Art with his Cobalt sidekick, possibly '85 or '86.

As you will hear, it's a bit music hall, maybe a bit Ian Dury, or even >shudder< Black Lace, and probably never got too many rewinds on the Sonic Youth tour bus, but in a live setting this stuff was so weirdly in your face and clearly gave no shits about seeming even remotely cool, and was accordingly very difficult to resist. Listen close and you can sort of imagine how it would have been had Brian Eno ever produced Bad Manners, or summink, particularly on You Go Your Way.

So here's to you, Mr. Oliver, obviously a much loved figure amongst the many who knew him, or even just knew of him. There's a load more out there on Soundcloud if anyone wants to have a look around. I'd link a few of the news articles I found but most of them require that the reader wait three or four minutes while all the shitty pop-up adverts sort themselves out.

1 - Nudie Beaches
2 - The Facts
3 - It Isn't Easy
4 - You Go Your Way
5 - Something to Say


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