STARRING PUNK ROCK stalwarts Chrissie Hynde, Captain Sensible and Shane MacGowan, a trailer to a forthcoming documentary entitled Basically, Johnny Moped has emerged, and if the final product proves half as entertaining as the 1.39 tease on offer, we're in for a treat. Unencumbered by conventional talents, punk harbinger Moped, aka Paul Halford, and his eponymous group (Sensible amongst them, at least temporarily) were stalwarts at London's Roxy Club. And while the recordings they made are often overlooked in punk Best Ofs, there is something hypnotically intense and borderline repugnant about the best of them (try the extraordinary 1977 single No One and its sociopathic B-side Incendiary Device) that repays exploration.
But who is/was Paul Halford? Is it true that the group had to shanghai him as he left work to enforce his attendance at rehearsals? Does that explain his "unique" (aka drunk, recalcitrant) singing "style"? And did Chrissie Hynde really apply for a place in the lineup after reading an ad that sought "a way-out funky bass guitarist into moronic rock'n'roll?" All is to be revealed in Fred Burns'* film about this great lost punk band.
More on the documentary when we discover it. Meanwhile keep abreast of events here.
There's also a premiere screening of Basically, Johnny Moped at Koko, London on September 19. Tickets are £17 and available from http://www.koko.uk.com/.
Paul Halford, aka Johnny Moped. He was a Maniac | © Chris Gabrin
*Fred Burns, by the way, is Captain Sensible's son. Imagine that.