Sunday, 10 April 2011

Day 27: Underwear slang for superheroes...

Silly one today, off the sometimes-overlooked Bend Sinister album.

Song: Shoulder Pads 1#
Album: Bend Sinister

Year: 1986

So this is a bit of a daft one, but one that comes quite early in the Fall canon, the lyrics are delivered in a rhythm to the song, which is quite rare sometimes within The Fall, and the music is frankly ridiculous, what I presume is a keyboard being mixed really high in the production. Its really playful and sounds a bit 60s-pop to my mind, a little Monkees or early Beatles? Nice sounding guitar, but the star (as ever) is Mark and his vocals.

He kind of reads these lyrics out, there's some messy delay going on with his voice, giving an echo-chamber effect, it sounds basic and dated, but that's where the charm lies here. The lyrics seem to catalogue real life, it basically sounds like a list. Some of it sounds like self-realisation, like this: "Suppressed big romance/It was like being back at school".

I love the line "Superhero in harlequin kecks" for those not from the north or even the UK, kecks is slang for underpants, a word you hardly ever hear any more, "Keep your kecks on" was always something people said growing up, I love slang for underpants, the British have loads, undercrackers, kecks, knickers, pants, undies, gruds, all amazing, I have to wonder if there's any Fall song out there which mentions undercrackers, if there isn't, there needs to be.


  1. A slight technicality but where i'm from (the north*) the word Kecks has always meant Trousers & not Undies. While i'm here a couple of my fave slang names for undies 1. Eddie Grundies & 2. Skids. To complicate things even further, another slang name for Trousers is Pants!
    Keep up the good work anyway. I look forward to reading this blog for what will probably be the rest of my life!
    * Other than looking at a map a good way to get an idea of what is The North is to listen to the KLF/JAMS classic It's Grim Up North.

  2. Haha! I'm from Lincolnshire, but currently live in South Yorks, so my slang is somewhat skewed, where I'm from kecks are underpants, though I think this is a common thing, there's variations on dozens of words from place to place, even within a few miles of each other in SY people disagree what the name is for bread buns, are they breadcakes, barm cakes, tea cakes etc? Such discussions have driven me mad over the 7 years I've been here!

  3. Brilliant!

    I'm from The Peak Distict & it's a Cob. I presume it's something to do with them being the same size as a cobble-stone from the cobbled streets of yester-year.

    Regional slang variations could be a blog of it's own really.. Probably is somewhere.

    Of course, the blog would have to be called Slang King!

    You seem not to mind taking requests so how about tackling No Bulbs if your up for it.