Gosh it’s Bad Manners... at Exmouth Festival!


- Credit: Archant

Bad Manners – the ska pop band who had a string of top ten hits in the early 1980s – are to headline this year’s Exmouth Festival.

The band – led by outlandish frontman Buster Bloodvessel – will be appearing for free on Friday, May 27 at Exmouth’s Imperial Rec Ground.

They’ll be supported by young local acts, including Big Fat Astronauts and The Barefoot Bandit.

The evening kick-starts Exmouth’s free music and arts festival, which this year has been extended to 10 days as it celebrates its 20th anniversary.

By coincidence, Bad Manners – who formed in North London in 1976 – are celebrating their 40th anniversary.

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“That’s why I booked them because it was their 40th anniversary and I was thinking it’s our 20th anniversary,” says Carla Hiley, Exmouth’s Arts Manager.

“I thought it would be a good party band and I know it will be a good show.

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“I tried to think of a band that was well known and that would be a good show for people, a proper celebration party band, that hasn’t been to Exmouth before. It will get people in the spirit of celebration.”

Bad Manners are the most well known act to have appeared in the town for many years. They came to prominence in the early 1980s, amid the wave of ska revival bands, such as Madness, The Specials and The Selecter.

Apart from their anthem Lip Up Fatty (number 15 in June 1980), they hit number three with Special Brew (August 1980), number three with Can Can (June 1981), number ten with Walking on Sunshine (September 1981) and number nine with My Girl Lollipop (My Boy Lollipop (July 1982). Their singles spent 111 weeks in the UK charts between 1980 and 1983. Their most popular album, Gosh It’s… Bad Manners, peaked at number 18 on the UK album chart.

The free show will be part of Bad Manners’s 40th anniversary tour.

“The closest place they are playing to Exmouth is Stroud,” said Carla. “Tickets there are £18. There is nowhere else where you can see Bad Manners for free.”

Carla says that we can expect ‘a little bit of chaos and a little bit of debauchery!’ at the show.

“What I’m most pleased about is that I’ve got local bands like Big Fat Astronauts – who are a young band from the college - and The Barefoot Bandit supporting. They don’t know who they are supporting, so I’m looking forward to them finding out. I think that’s really nice example of what the Exmouth Festival is good at.”

More details of the Exmouth Festival will be released in the next few weeks. The programme guide is imminent.

Carla says it’s getting harder and harder to keep the event free.

“So if people can donate whatever they can afford, it would be very helpful. I really want to keep the festival free, but it’s getting to the point where it’s a struggle.”

Meanwhile, she says, we’ve got Bad Manners to look forward to.

“It would be great if people could have some meaningful cultural engagement, but if they just want to have a drink and have fun, that’s good too! And please give generously. People that can afford more, please do, and the people that can’t, just give what you can.”

More on Exmouth Festival 2016 in next week’s Journal.



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