Right. Loads of ground to cover here.
Frank Carter’s first band Gallows. They got a huge record deal for their first album ‘Orchestra Of Wolves’ on the back of the fact their live shows were incredible. They spent every last penny on the record. They had real orchestras (of humans, you understand) they had incredible production but most of all, they had punk fury burning in their bellies.
They caped that amazing album off with a cover version of a classic seventies punk anthem. Staring At The Rude Boys was originally written and recorded by The Ruts. You should be checking them out if you don’t know them already because EVERY band you love, loves The Ruts.
Any yet, a straight forward (even if it was ferocious and triumphant) cover version wasn’t enough for Gallows. They wanted to make Staring At The Rude Boys current. To feel like it belonged on the airwaves and in the venues of 2006. This was a new era, one in which Grime was representing the youth and the street culture of modern England.
Lethal Bizzle comes from Walthamstow London. I’m a decade older than him. But they’re my ends too. In 2006 he’d left More Fire Crew behind him and was a proper name in his own right with Against All Odds under his belt and Back To Bizznizz about to hit.
Bizzle’s verse on Staring At The Rude Boys gave the noughties it’s own Walk This Way/Killing In The Name cross over moment. The difference here was the blending of sub genres the internet had been messing with made it feel less like a (r)evolutionary curve ball and more like the next link in the chain. This tune was necessary for the era.
After 2006 Grime was Punk, Dance was Indie, Grunge was Pop and no fan was any one thing any more.
Gallows made an overlooked classic of an album for the punk genre. Bizzle became a pop star and is now considered an elder statesman of his scene.
Staring At The Rude Bois (note the inflection on the spelling, not part of The Ruts original vision) has got a lot going on for a cover version and so we slip deeper into 70’s Punk Classic Covers Week.