Now however having purchased “Magnetism” a best of on CD a couple of years ago I fear I may have missed the point and treated one of the best and fun 2-Tone acts with a distain they didn’t deserve. Songs like the afore mentioned “My Girl Lollipop” and “Can Can” still grate mind you but songs like the story telling brilliance of “Lorraine”, the summery feel good of “Walking In The Sunshine” and easy going sing-a-long of “Special Brew” are quite superb. The Specials and The Selecter were perhaps more relevant with their songs about the urban decline that was affecting the country then but at least Bad Manners allowed you to forget your worries and just party for the sake of partying’s sake!
They were formed in 1976 while the members were together at Woodberry Down Comprehensive School, Stoke Newington, London with the literally larger than life Buster Bloodvessel (Douglas Trendle to his mum) fronting the band.
Having become quite popular on the live circuit in their native London and with the recent success of bands like The Specials, The Selecter and Madness, Bad Manners were quickly picked up and signed by Magnet Records in 1980. Their first single was the quirky ‘Ne-Ne Na-Na Na-Na Nu-Nu’ which peaked at a respectable #28 in March of that year. This was followed by ‘Lip Up Fatty’ (#28 June 1980) and ‘Special Brew’ which very nearly made the top of the charts but unfortunately stalled at #3 in the August. 1980 also saw the release of their first album ‘Ska-N-B’ which reached #34 in the
album chart and highlighted their love of the jump and jive sounds of the 40's and 50's as much if not more than Ska! UK
The band built on this opening success with the release of more hit singles over the next two years including ‘
’, ‘Just A Feeling’ and of course the big hits ‘My Girl Lollipop’ and ‘Can Can’. There were also two more albums ‘Loonee Tunes’, that has to be in the running for worst album cover ever (It featured a little dog with a bow on its head sitting on a cushion) and then ‘Gosh It’s…’ which saw the band changing style a bit with more Latino and Jazz/Soul style influences and fusions. Lorraine
This was also were I parted ways with Bad Manners as 2-Tone’s influence faded. The Specials split and The Selecter and Beat would soon follow. Madness were still going but had become more adventurous and were no longer really a “Ska” band and as is always the way, the country’s musical tastes were changing as ‘New Romantics’ and synth pop started to take over. This left Bad Manners in something of a quandary as to which direction to take and they seemed to just slip away eventually calling it quits in 1987.
This parting however did not last long and Buster soon reformed the band with original members Louis Alphonso, Martin Stewart and Winston Bazoomies. He then licensed the Blue Beat Records name and logo and set up office in a 50ft barge in the back garden of his former home in Spring Hill,
, and released albums by Bad Manners, Napoleon Solo and Buster's Allstars. He closed the record label in 1990, and the band found themselves without a recording contract, but still continued to tour. In 1992, Buster travelled to London Berlin and signed a deal with Pork Pie Records and "Fat Sound" was released in Europe.
In 1995, Buster Bloodvessel moved to
Margate opening a hotel on the seafront called " ", which catered for people with huge appetites and served food like steak & mushroom pie sandwiches and mega sized English breakfasts. While living in Fatty Towers , Buster was a regular spectator at Margate F.C. and Bad Manners sponsored the club for one season. " Margate " closed in 1998 for a facelift, but did not reopen. After its closure, Buster immediately moved back to Fatty Towers . London
During the late 1990s, a Third Wave ska revival renewed interest in the band and Bad Manners released "Heavy Petting" in
in 1997. Six years later, Buster decided to set up another record label and the band released "Stupidity" on Bad Records. America
At this present time Buster Bloodvessel still performs with Bad Manners in venues all over the
UK and Europe. He is the only original member left in the band, but Winston Bazoomies is an 'honorary member' of the group, meaning he can rejoin Bad Manners at any time he wishes to. The harmonica player currently lives in Hackney.
Louis Alphonso and Martin Stewart went on to play in Skaville
UK, who released two albums on Moon Ska World in the . Martin announced his retirement from the music business in January 2009, and lives in UK North London. David Farren now plays in The Rolling Stones' tribute band The Rollin Stoned, while Chris Kane is now a session musician. Brian Tuitt runs a recording studio in Surrey, and Andrew Marson now works as a carpenter in and around . Paul Hyman lives in London and he has often guested with his trumpet with the ska band, Too Many Crooks. Enfield
Bad Manners headlined their own music festival known 'Badfest' in 2005 and is still going strong with last years festival featuring a varied line-up that included, along with themselves, Sham 69, Doctor & The Medics, Musical Youth, Max Splodge, Dreadzone, P.A.I.N, The Sex Pistols Experience, The Lambrettas, Girlschool, Eddie & the Hot Rods, Chas & his Band, The Fish Brothers, and more.