Formed: London, England, UK
“We’re pricking the balloons of pomposity,” - Eddie Tudorpole, Zig Zag, 1981.
This bunch of loveable loonies remain best known for the almost unbelievably excellent Swords Of A Thousand Men, a Top Ten hit in the UK, and the nearly-as-inspired Wunderbar (“There is a word in German and I think it says it all...”). Both songs resemble a lobotomised, drunken, untalented Skids, with incomprehensible vocals and bags of demented rock and roll swagger. They also had pedigree.
Singer Eddie Tudorpole, genuinely of royal descent, was chosen by Malcolm McLaren as a replacement for Johnny Rotten, and appeared on two great songs from the Sex Pistols’ comedy period, ‘Who Killed Bambi?’ and ‘Rock Around The Clock’. These songs were chosen as B-Sides for Pistols singles, and, in 1981 were coupled together in a last ditch attempt to milk the cow. The Pistols thing was short-lived, but Tudorpole emerged in 1980 with the quintet Tenpole Tudor, issuing a roundly-ignored single for Korova and, for Stiff, the brilliantly loopy Three Bells In A Row.Eddie Old Bob Dick And Gary has no new songs as good as the above singles (three of which are included, ‘Wunderbar’ in a superior version), and there’s some real rubbish, but Tudorpole’s demented singing style and interesting, if dumb, lyrics make it an enjoyable romp, with hints (just hints) of Wreckless Eric, Nick Lowe and The Undertones. Let The Four Winds Blow has more song-to-song consistency but no standouts, although the single ‘Throwing My Baby Out With The Bathwater’ has some degree of charm. Swords Of A Thousand Men was a Cannuck comp.
After the group splintered, both Tudorpole and three of remaining group members each issued singles, both fairly irritating.