Symarip – Skinhead Moonstomp (TBL 102) (1969)

The very definition of bandwagon jumping mitigated slightly by the fact that the UK’s Symarip (Pyramids near palindrome) were the premier passengers on the Skinhead carriage. With tracks like “Skinhead Jamboree”, “Skin Flint”, “Skinhead Girl” (“Her hair cut short, boots set firm/She was my height, my weight, my size, she wore braces and blue jeans”–WTF?), not to mention the hit title track* and a Nancy Sinatra recast (“These Boots Are Made For Stomping [sic]”), my guess is that this relatively unsubtle take on reggae/ska was big fun in the clubs among the target demographic, with the Skins feeling a certain vindication, even liberation, that comes with recognition however ham-fisted, but the novelty wears thin on Lp for anything more than party listening. Purchased, by coincidence, for the virtual equivalent of 19’11 in 2012 money from my favourite Sandwich chaz, Toots & the Maytals, it ain’t.

The practice of putting Caucasians on the front cover of Lps produced by black people was not new in 1969, but usually the job fell to an attractive blonde female (see Miles Davis, Otis Redding, et al); in fact, the rhetorical point was less arbitrary and more meaningful here.

*This is a version of Derrick Morgan’s “Moon Hop”, though it’s here carelessly credited to Symarip’s singer and keyboardist.

Published in: on March 20, 2012 at 8:48 am  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. when i first looked at this i thought the skinheads on the front cover were the actual band!

  2. I’m sure you aren’t the only one that’s happened to.

  3. perhaps even more strange is the back cover – it appears to be a hand-drawn picture of a forest on the moon, with the real band obviously superimposed in green-screen style…

  4. What looks to be a forest on the digital reproduction is, I think, moon “atmosphere” and green-screen is giving too much credit; the band photo was cut out with a pair of scissors.

    A: I hear you went to a restaurant on the moon. How was it?
    B: Lousy.
    A: Really, why?
    B: Well, the food was alright, but there was no atmosphere.


  5. don’t apologise – that was actually quite amusing….

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