In a week when David Cameron was implicated in matters porcine my thoughts naturally turned to pig related musical incidents from the 70’s. It’s a niche market I know but I’ve managed to come up with one.
Gnidrolog were a progressive band in every sense of the word. Formed by the twin brothers Stewart and Colin Goldring in 1969 they enjoyed a brief career in the D division. I didn’t even get to hear the band until the late 70’s (by which time, as we will see, their career had gone off in a very different direction)
Gnidrolog were a challenging listen, tunes that seemed to avoid any recognisable melodic intervals with stop start rhythms and woodwind interludes. There were traces of King Crimson and Van der Graff but by the time of their second album ‘Lake Lady’, Gentle Giant was the most obvious reference point.Their debut snappily titled ‘In Spite Of Harry’s Toenail’ really is a challenge but I’ve had to listen to it so I don’t see why you should get off scott free.
The band did get to gig with better and more famous bands such as Wishbone Ash, Gentle Giant and, naturally, Budgie but their main claim to fame, albeit retrospectively was that their drummer was future Steeleye Span tub thumper Nigel Pegrum. That might not seem much now but Steeleye were a folkrock supergroup for a while remember?
They were a hell of a lot more famous than Gnidrolog anyhow.
The band split allegedly due to a lack of commercial success !!!!
If that’s a genuine quote they must have been one of the most deluded bands ever; 30 seconds into track one side one of ‘In Spite of Harry’s Toenail’ and I could have told you here was a band never going to experience commercial success. To be honest I wouldn’t have saved them much time as a year later they were no longer a band and Pergrum was living in a commune awaiting the call of Steeleye.
The Goldring brothers took a bit longer to get back on the gravy train over the space of three years they transformed themselves from a couple of squat troll like creatures into a stumpy version of Eastender’s Mitchell brothers.
The Goldring brothers had a new punk band The Pork Dukes.
Punk, as we all know revitalised music, abolished poverty and saved the world. It created some great music but lets imagine,for a second, that punk represents Dante’s vision of Hell. On the first level would be The Sex Pistols and the Clash and as we go deeper the Dammed and The Stranglers. Deeper still the Adverts and Sham 69 and onwards and downwards past The Vibrators, The UK Subs, The Exploited, so far down we’ve even gone past the Macc Lads and finally in the place where the sun never shines we come across The Pork Dukes.
They were vile.
The song titles speak for themselves Bend and Flush, Throbbing Gristle, Making Bacon, Tight Pussy, Telephone Masturbator, toilet humour doesn’t do it justice.Musically they weren’t so bad but being ex prog rock musicians they couldn’t resist a bit of guitar fret wanking now and again which pretty much gave the game away.
The most interesting thing about the band was their air of mystery, they performed in pig masks and rumours circulated that they were indeed proper musicians who might be Led Zeppelin or , more likely; Steeleye Span or Fairport Convention. The Goldring brothers were now Vilos and Horrendus Styles and among their musical accomplices was allegedly Nigel Pegrum on bass. Horrendus later denied this pointing out quite accurately that Pegrum was a drummer but also that a real bass player Rick Kemp was in the studios with Pegrum helping produce the band.
Horrendus appeared to be revelling in the freedom to produce home-grown music without the record companies telling him what to do and good luck to him on that. Unfortunately this also gave him licence to produce some of the most unpleasant sexist garbage its possibly it’s possible for a couple of baldy dwarves to create. As a consequence they couldn’t get gigs in venues already terrified by punk and when they did get to play gangs of feminists would turn up to spoil everybody’s fun by pointing out that songs about being ejaculated over were not exactly empowering.
There are rumours that John Peel was a fan: he wasn’t.
So after 3 years the band called it a day, but of course they didn’t, they reformed again and again until they just stopped splitting up and they still record and tour to this day. Their audience is largely people who are largely unconcerned about any authenticity, in Britain punk was all about authenticity but in Poland or Canada no one cares and the Pork Dukes in whatever incarnation they are now in can get a paying audience.
In a twist of fate so strange you couldn’t make it up the Brothers later decided to resurrect Gnidrolog which meant that one week they might be telling us sensitively about how they could never be a soldier and the next week singing about tight pussy.
They played just a couple of weeks ago near me in a venue that looks full with 20 people in it.
I didn’t go.