Nips’n’Nipple Erectors are of course Shane MacGowan’s pre-Pogues second wave UK punk band. I bought Bops, Babes, Booze & Bovver originally 20 plus years ago for a lot of money when I first discovered ebay. I’m not sure of the legality of the version I bought but now the album has been re-issued on Rough Trade (300 copies on yellow vinyl) so I assume all is in order here.
The Nipple Erectors (later shortened to The Nips, probably to make the name acceptable to the powers that be at BBC) were essentially a punk – rockabilly outfit with a great sense of pop melody that released two singles during their short existence. Side-A is the Nipple Erectors side, which kicks off with the glorious punk’n’roll King of the Bop, the rocking Nervous Wreck follows (the single B-side) and So Pissed off and Stravondale Rd., N5 from the same session but not then released close out that side. Side-B is The Nips side. Private Eye is Teddy Boy rock’n’Roll dragged screaming through 1977. Gabriella (produced by Paul Weller) is a pop-punk gem and the violent Vengeance (later covered by Dropkick Murphys) is a great slab (or stab) of early punk . An early insight into the genius of MacGowan.
Arguably after The Undertones London based The Nips were the best of the late 70’s pop-punk bands (though Shane claims they were shite.) Formed by a young punk about town by the name of Shane MacGowan (Shane in those days was infamous in London as the guy who had his ear bitten off at a Clash gig) along side bass player Shanne Bradley (later of The Men They Couldn’t Hang and the title of a Pogues b-side). The Nips combined the sounds of the first wave of UK punk with Teddy Boy rock’n’roll and an infectious pop sensibility.
“The Tit’s of Soho” is the first time anything by the Nips has ever been released on CD (and a somewhat dubious release it is I believe) and it contains their complete discography including their 4 singles, studio demo and a twelve track live show recorded back in 1980 (released in 1980 on vinyl as “Only the End of the Beginning”). The Teddy Boy inspired “King of the Bop”, the poppy “Gabrielle” and the recently covered by the DKM, “Vengeance” all stand the test of time. The live tracks are of a bootleg quality (then again that’s what this CD is) and sometimes of an atrocious quality but it’s the only way your ever going to hear’em.