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The Higsons

August

1981

Sounds

feature

 
 
THE Higsons from Norwich.

Just name and location are sufficient to evoke mental horror pictures of finger in the ear Fenland folkies reciting scrumpy-fuelled bawdy ballads concerning lewdness in farrows and the lesser wholesome aspects of the Viking invasion. But think again...

A single with the spectacular moniker of ‘I Don't Want To Live With Monkeys'. A flash brash, funky conglomeration of sound, catapulting the listener into a frenzied two-minute bout of manic gyrations and all round limb blurring. See recent Single Of The Week segment for details (or the Higsons scrapbook, where grubby fingers have already been at work with the paste brush).

Equipped with a week's rations, trusty compass and attired in regulation British explorer's garb of tweed jacket and over-sized plus fours tucked into special ultra-tough wellies, I ventured unfearingly into the man swallowing swamps that divide the settlement of East Anglia from civilisation as we know it.

After meeting the fiery five-piece I’m pleased to be able to report that they bore only faint traces of barbarism and even conversed in a form of English.

We retire to the cosy dwelling place of voice artiste and local boy making good, Switch. Here we initiate the consumption of several bottles of the finest (i.e. filched from last weekend's party) wine, a ritualistic welcoming ceremony for visiting strangers.

The talk turns to things historical and it transpires the four other ragged youths are not Norwich's finest, at all but drawn from all corners of the globe, lured by the reek of academia from that great seat of learning, the University of East Anglia. By pursuing a head down, teeth clenched, investigative journalism technique, I unearth some tales of curious pasts.

Bass person Colin spills some beans: "We all met at University. I'm from Liverpool and was in Wah! in the very early days, playing guitar along with Wylie. This guy called Steve Tempo, who now roadies for the Teardrop Explodes, was selected to play bass but he couldn't play it. So I moved to that but packed it in to come down here to the Uni in September '79.”

To continue reading this article and to discover many more (over 140,000 words-worth!), purchase Mick Sinclair’s Adjusting the Stars: Music journalism from post-punk London. 

 

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