Big Bad Bollocks: Night On the Tiles

The Big Bad Bollocks are the East Coast answer to a combination of the Macc Lads and the Pogues. (To steal a pretty much accurate description I once read.) BBB, however, come across as a more traditional English group on the piss (utilizing mainly squeezebox and tin whistle for the folky stuff) and things are expressed from a decidedly English point of view.

Johnny ‘Alien’ Allen is a Liverpool transplant/poet/playwright whose views and viewpoint can be summed up nicely in the title of their second album, “Night On the Tiles.” Released in 1999 on Monlyth records, it’s a drunken good time, with attitude, wit and a bit o’ heart as well. With songs that range from a tribute to everyone’s favorite “Guinness,” to a rollicking ode “Drinkup Yabastards” and the sea-shanty-ish “Drunker Than I Was” (it being a grand example of a whiskey-fueled roll in the hay) it’s not hard to gauge the album’s main creative fuel. The BBB do love a good drink, but are more-talented than you may think Allen’s playwright background turns more serious on “Uncle Ted”, a tale of working class hell and the sheer dead-on descriptive-ness of “Aunty Mary” makes you laugh your arse off and wonder where Allen comes up with it all. Then they can rock-n-roll like a demented Buddy Holly on “Motorcycle Jacket” and the Cockney/English music hall tradition pops up in “Tiddly Om Pom”…a great little ditty.

All in all, the album would fit in very nicely playing over the speakers in your local pub’s loo, as you release another night’s hard work and chuckle with relief. Pick it up and slam it back, it’s your ’round. (Also check out their first EP “Where the Beef Meets the Sea” and if possible, their split 7″ with the now defunct oi legends All Systems Stop.)

August 2001

Review by Sean Holland

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.