Heaven help the biographer who takes on the unwieldy task of compiling the career of Billy Childish. Musician, writer, painter, folklore character and more. We are here to talk music, but even this is a slippery undertaking. Having just reviewed ‘Failure, Not Success’, here comes the first album by Thee Headcoats in 22 years. Yes, Billy, Bruce and Johnny are back, after their recent tribute EP to The Downliner Sect.

Has time affected them? Of course not! Tweed Deerstalkers in place, and we’re off! 12 tracks veering from the Medway sound to their chaotic ‘Dustbin Mod’, as on final song ‘The Kids Are All Square’. On ‘Thee Headcoatitude’, they still manage to breathe life into old garage rock riffs, with ‘7% Solution’ giving a nod to Link Wray.

Whether it’s ‘The Baker Street Irregulars’ and its call of “who’ll be next in line to don the Deerstalker hat?”, complete with wailing harp, or the story of ‘Mr H Headcoat’, like an English cousin of The Cramps, you either get it or you don’t. Obviously, I’m in the former group, which means this year is getting expensive. And that’s not including buying new headgear. Can I carry off a Deerstalker? Sir Quentin may have the answer, as he is heard on ‘The Leader Of The Sect’. Confused? Don’t worry, just press play, old chap…

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Author: Martin Chamarette