FRIDAY NIGHT, Macclesfield,
Cheshire. Under the dim glow of
the gaslights three utterly
disgusting human wrecks, ravaged
by Boddingtons and herpes, are
staggering along the cobbled
streets singing unprintable
versions of old Monkees songs.
Clutching their precious trays of
chips in gravy and hurling insults
at passing pooftahs they finally
arrive at the Bear's Head,
"the Mecca of Macclesfield” and
with a victorious cry of 'Eh up!' they
down the first of the evening's 20 pints. Vests stained with beer and vomit and worn out by hours
of frenzied lust they eventually crawl home as the sun rises over the town . . .
I first heard the Macc Lads courtesy of a tape which polluted the Sounds office (unnoticed) for several weeks until some
inner stroke of genius moved me to give it a listen. Since then I have inflicted it on just about everyone, using it as some
kind of personality test; reactions ranging from awed disbelief to instant demands for a copy indicate a balanced and
healthy attitude to life, but remarks such as "What disgusting, filthy, sexist RUBBISH!" and "It's really repressive, man!"
earn the Whitehouse Humourless Halibut Award.
The fact is that this lot are so totally over the top you'd need to be a complete idiot to take them seriously. Like Lenny
Bruce, they use naughty words and over the top bigoted ravings to poke fun at the wallies and bigots of this world.
Nevertheless, many decent Northern folk don't see the joke. The Lads are banned from just about everywhere apart from
Huddersfield Poly and are known to the local promoters as 'the band that hate poofs'. This is mostly due to the fact that all
their songs are about their devotion to Boddingtons and their ridiculously Pythonesque aversion to homosexuals.
So over a few pints of what they described as 'undrinkable London gnat's puke' I asked the three foul specimens, Muttley
(bass/vocals), Stez Styx (drums) and the Beater (guitar) to explain their, er, singular attitudes to life.
Muttley: "It's quite simple. We hate poofs. Blokes who can't hold their beer. That barman's a poof, you can see it a mile
Muttley then proceeded to tell me about the day he discovered that his best mate was a poof, and the shattering effect it
had on his life.
"All these years we'd been together, inseparable; we formed a band together at school and did all the things that best
mates do. Then one day he called me aside and said, 'Muttley, I've got something to tell you. I've turned into a poof. And
I've got something to ask you. Can I sleep on your floor?' I didn't know what to say. so I said the only thing I could think of
in the circumstances, 'Get stuffed!' "
This sobering experience is related in the epic 'Now He's A Poof' one of the tracks on the legendary Macc Lads Tape.
Other classics include 'Buenos Aires' ('There's loads of bloody fairies/In bloody Buenos Aires/With greasy hair and sweaty
bums/They've never heard of Boddingtons').
Then there's 'Twenty Pints' (the subject, believe it or not of a recent Macc Lads video), an obscene version of the
Monkees' theme tune and many others.
I suppose it must be said that this tape is the most disgusting artefact ever recorded (it makes Judge Dredd sound like
Cliff Richard) and if you decide, more fool you, to take it seriously it will be the most offensive thing you've ever heard; I
can guarantee that. But as I've said before anyone who takes the Macc Lads seriously is a total wally.
They are gigging sporadically at the few places which will let them play up and down the country (I've already been to one
gig cancelled at short notice by a disgusted promoter) and I recommended with all my heart that you go and check them
out, it will be the funniest experience you've had for ages.
Musically, they're a bit like early Buzzcocks, if indeed the Macc Lads can be compared to anyone . . .
As for the tape, which I regard as absolutely indispensible; it's available from Muttley, 265, Oxford Road, Macclesfield,
Cheshire, for £2 including postage and packing.
(SOUNDS MARCH 5TH 1983 - reprinted from the Punk Rocker Archives)
DIRTY MACC BRIGADE
Real men? We're keeping our opinions
to ourselves, but this slur on the town
of Macclesfield are self-confessed
planks. What's worse, Roger Holland
argues. Steve Mitchell reaches for his
"There were a load of bloody fairies/ In
Buenos bloody Aires/ With greasy hair and
sweaty bums/ They'd never heard of
Boddington's/ lt were a different country and
a different race/ No chippies in t'bloody place/
Yer can keep that puff Ardilles/ 'Cos we're
gonna have yer Malvinas." ('Buenos Aires')
DOES COSTA Mendes really live in fear of real
men who can hold their beer? The Macc Lads
believe so. But then these Macc Lads dwell in a
curious, anachronistic land. Across a spry yet
heavyweight collage of riffs purloined from
T'Clash, T'Leyton Buzzards, T'Slade and others,
they catalogue the finely detailed mythology of a
town where a man is judged by his alcoholic
consumption, his virility is directly proportional to
the size of his beer belly and the number of his
tattoos, and women rank just below toilets.
A town called Macclesfield.
And 'Beer & Sex & Chips 'N' Gravy', The Macc Lads' debut album, forms just about the definitive
testament to the imbecility of a particular objectionable northern stereotype. It's as coarse an
exercise in macho breast-beating and outrageous sexism as you could hope (?) to encounter.
Or avoid. And has already been condemned as such by one paper. But surely it's a hilarious
Eager to discover if these boys are the absolute pigs that they portray or a bunch of grammar
school poofs living a finely-weighted larger than life piss-take, I met up with the T Macc Lads in
a pub (where else?) in Victoria.
Muttley McLad (bass, vocals and beer): "You're the bastard from Liverpool, aren't you? Well,
we're woollybacks!" He made it sound a triumph, almost a threat.
The Beater (guitar and sex): "And we're planks!"
Over our first four pints I find room for very few words; for the Lads are bent upon abusing our
capital city - "it's full of foreigners and bottom boys", and homosexuals in general. At great length.
Despite all this, as I study their eyes and detect the gleam of intelligence and mockery, I become quite sure that these
Macc Lads are simply the biggest wind-up merchants I've ever met!
What makes Macclesfield so very wonderful, then?
Muttley: "It's the centre of the universe! There's more pubs per head of population in Macc than anywhere else in the
country. And toads of them serve Boddington's!"
The Beater: "And there's no fuckin' pooftahs. Stez
Styx drove them all out!" Stez is the Macc drummer,
currently sojourning in Strangeways.
Two pints later (or was it three?) my legs are going,
yet The Macc Lads have not let their guard drop one
little bit. But Muttley and The Beater remind me so
very strongly of a pair of especially smart yet always
superficially dumb pranksters I knew at school that
nothing they can do can persuade me they're really
When, in desperation, I change tack and accuse
them of neither writing nor playing their own music,
Muttley sees his chance and attempts to convince
me that I'm right and that some mystery 'name' band
lies behind their wall of offence.
But a separate, reliable source from The Macc Lads'
own schooldays had already confirmed that they are
more than competent musicians. This for me defines
The Macc Lads' lunatic charm. Their tongues are so
far inside somebody's cheeks and their music is so
powerfully outrageous that with a degree of real,
nationwide exposure they could become bigger than
the Sex Pistols. No, honestly.
(SOUNDS MARCH 29TH 1986 - reprinted from the Punk Rocker Archives)
The official MACC LADS site.
Some updates: The Derita Sisters bought out a Macc Lads
tribute album in (2006) review here. Plus if your ever feeling like
having a pint of Boddingtons in Macclesfield's biggest tourist trap
(Bears Head) since the Macc Lads made it infamous in the 80's.
You won't find it no more at 85 Mill Street, Macclesfield, Cheshire,
SK11 6NN. But what you will find there is the renamed Kusch bar
(pictured right) which has now become a victim of what all real pubs
eventually succumb to...and thats a pooftahs bar!