THE SHEND of THE CRAVATS – Song For Ewe

“SONG FOR EWE”
with THE SHEND of THE CRAVATS

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“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day.

Today’s is an original punk who formed his band after seeing The Stranglers, who took a James Chance to add contorted sax to add a touch of the Stooges to some twisted Trumpton-esque riot and while recorded by Crass added some clever humour to make the arch and still very much vibrant The Cravats. He is also known as “The Singing Man” captured on film by my best mate and film maker Toby Amies as part of the Channel 4 “Random Acts” season, and regularly hosts a compelling punk podcast. His Dada-ist humour fills my Facebook feed and my days with mirth – even if it’s just the picture of a cloud stuck to a window with cartoon bubble “We’re Getting A New Carpet For The Lounge” and the caption SKY NEW or his current muse: ‘The Back Of Your Head Is My Canvas Unwitting Bus Passenger’. (Royal College of Art). Does what it says on the tin, or rather the back of an unwitting subject’s head. With a brand new 7″ out “Jingo Bells” backed with “Batter House” getting some play from 6 Music’s Gideon Coe, and released on another best mate’s label (John Esplen of Overground), I’ve sat on this “song for ewe” long enough for it to be so hot right now again. With many apologies for my tardiness, a bird in the hand is worth two in the Shend, it’s The (or as Facebook has made him now call himself – Theo) Shend. Yes that’s right The Shend ladies & jellyspoons!

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When John Esplen sent me the reissue of The Cravats lost classic album “The Cravats In Toytown”…featuring debut single and classic “Gordon”…

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it spurred me into attempting to put on The Cravats at a Velvet Sheep night when we were doing them at the Whitechapel Gallery, but they were reassuringly expensive. But with The Shend you are guaranteed entertainment.

Talking of which, here’s that great Random Acts film…

I used the e-mail to great effect when asking him to do a “song for ewe”. He duly obliged (albeit some time near the start of this phase of Velvet Sheep as blog, relaunched from the ashes of the club night and old xeroxed zine). I felt obliged and happily so to help crowdfund my good bud Toby’s brand new film venture starring The Shend (and Toby’s big screen follow up to “The Man Whose Mind Exploded”) so a quid pro quo slightly eases my conscience. In this black comedy The Shend plays a serial killer for hire around his and Toby’s native Brighton (or Saltdean to be more specific), with a soundtrack from Steve (Beta Band) Mason. I for one cannot wait to see it. I have been promised a “Killing Is My Living” T-shirt but am not sure I can truly rock it in public given my CBBC day work.

I was chuffed to find that Overground have not only put out some brand new material from the resurgent Cravats, but that John has kindly sent me my own vinyl numbered copy. Not payola you understand, since I already had this “song for ewe” (sorry again for sitting on my hands), but very much appreciated nonetheless.

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Not only that but it also has it’s very own promo video, no less! Running around in Toytown/London, looking like a punk magician meets tour guide. I’d happily hang out on the open top bus with The Shend and his new-ish band of cravat wearing merry minsters.

But, the next best thing is a “song for ewe” from the great raconteur and provocateur himself…without further ado it’s over to The Shend…

“There are not enough songs about English mechanical and civil engineers and this is easily the finest. Fine punk spirit and big dose of ‘tongue in cheek’ British humour, plus a great chorus to singalong to (witnessing a 100 strong crowd chanting ‘Isambard Kingdom Brunel’ is a sight to behold). Ticks all the boxes for me.”

Hope that will suffice, although if you want something more obscure just let me know.

Any chance of mentioning our website (www.thecravats.com) or my weekly punk radio broadcast (https://www.mixcloud.com/Shend/) feel free.”

CONSIDER IT DONE. THANKYOU THE SHEND. I SALUTE YOU AND ALL WHO RIDE WITH YOU.

Author: Nick Hutchings

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