Assorted scribblings of a dog-eared music journalist

Melody Maker | Live | 19 August 1989

US:UK
The Marquee, London


There are over 700 people here to see US:UK. It's largely down to the fact that, like the Sputniks and CT London before them, they're masters of the scam. This gig has been promoted by hundreds of fly posters bearing the words "You've Got Nothing That I Need Wendy" and a photo of Wendy James, a hastily scribbled beard masking her pout. US:UK are endearing before they even play a note.

The huffy pop of "Wendy" isn't the only highlight of the evening. The lyrical irreverence and matching musical inelegance is sometimes as intemperate as Pop Will Eat Itself at their best. There are vaguely danceable rhythms, courtesy of a manic percussionist, and lopsided guitar solos. The vocals veer from psychobabble raps to bootboy chants, from slang slinging to a bestial grunting. Each sound is ridiculously and wonderfully exaggerated. Their penchant for mockery knows no limitations. 

Frontman David Bury, looking like Worzel Gummidge in Boy cast-offs, perpetually patrols the stage, pointing fingers and threatening to wring necks. His decision to headbutt the guitar is just one indication of his addled mind. That he came up with songs titled "Yuppies Can't Dance" and "Will You Still Love Me, Will You Still Care, When You Wake Up In The Morning And I Ain't Crimped My Hair" is another. 

US:UK have drastically improved since I saw them 18 months ago – but thankfully not out of all recognition. They're still one of the crappiest bands in the entire history of music. They're also one of the few I'd crawl through flames to gawp at. 

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