The

Mick

Sinclair

Archive

The Higsons

April

1982

Noise

feature

 
 
THINK OF STUDENTS playing rock and you’ll probably imagine the lyrical equivalent of dour mathematical formulas being set to dour, incomprehensible music.

But last summer a five-piece outfit called The Higsons shocked everybody out of their anti-academic preconceptions with a single entitled I Don’t Want To Live With Monkeys’, a colourful explosion of brash and breezy punk/funk action.

Wild trumpets and crashing salvoes of brass mated to a compulsive jerky rhythm that aimed straight at the feet and became an instant dance floor success.

The originators of this stunning debut were all students at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. Four of them arriving there from various far-flung corners of the country with only vocalist Switch being a born and bred local lad.

Onstage, Switch is easily the most noticeable. Usually tastelessly attired in a loud and spectacularly baggy suit. Apart from singing is he usually either violently rattling maracas or percussively assaulting an empty oil can with a length of stick.

Quashing the temptation to throw away their books and risk all in pursuit of superstardom, the sensibly decided to combine intellectual endeavours with band activities.

The ferocious fivesome gigged solidly during the long vacations gradually spreading the energetic fun-funk message of Hig-beat across the land.

Right now there is a new single. A joyous tootsie-tapper for the paranoically inclined named ‘Conspiracy’.

Explains Switch: “It’s about the type of people who have conspiracy theories. A grain of truth in something that gets blown up out of all proportion. The song links everything you do to some big power.”

‘Conspiracy’ is issued by the small-time but big-thinking local label Waap. With the Higsons at the helm, Norwich is rapidly becoming recognised as a seething hotbed of new talent. More than a few A&R men and media scribes have journeyed eastwards to the cathedral city.

Switch, however, remains unmoved by the attention. “Norwich is the same as it ever was. All the musicians use the same pub but the idea of a ‘Norwich scene’ has been blown up out of all proportion.”

Just like a conspiracy, eh Switch?

 

 

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To read many more articles and reviews (over 140,000 words-worth!) written by Mick Sinclair, buy Adjusting the Stars: Music journalism from post-punk London