Photo Steve Double
Izzy wizzy lets get busy! Nineteen–ninety nine was a hectic shit kicking year on the noise ’n lifestyle production line at Onionheadquarters in Brum’s Southside curry quarter. Not only did the Heads put out three multi track EPs progressing quickly from a scratchy Indie guitar sound to more of a head on REM meets Tom Verlaine pile up but they also made time to consume 200 times their own weight in alcoholic beverages and indulge in some fleshy perversions that might have brought colour to the cheeks of Big Bad Joe Orton.
The cover of Electric Ladland EP caught Onionhead in a wildly compromising photostudio pose. Mimicking the classic Hendrix nudey girly sleeve, the band reclined stark bullock naked, ably assisted by three quarters of the Sandkings and sundry sicko extras. It was disgracefull….appalling. How could five grown men and all their mates share not an ounce of manly flab nor a single chest hair between them?
"There were supposed to be a couple of fatties but neither of them turned up", moans singer Jules "They both chickened out".
We did it on this industrial estate by the Blues footy ground", says Sammy the Bass.
"There were all these burly workmen around who we were gonna ask to join in…but we were wearing all this make up at the time…."
"The worst thing was we had to get there naked on the bus".
Where once there was a timid, chiming riffing and a Stipe obsession, the Ladland sound strips off and boogies, lips pouting, little hairless nipples all pink and shameless. Amps on 12 they claim. Stereo split even wider.
Yeah the Stones "Monkey Man", the brazen harmonies of "Honest to God" and the upfront gob-organ rush taking Onionhead headlong into 1991; but what about the future?
"All yer food’ll come in pills," says Manc Sammy, sadly missing the point. "Bands ‘ll go onstage on electric podules, just wearing like heat-belts. In the future no-one’ll wear any clothes
DJ Smith (Derek Hammond) Melody maker 02/02/91
NME interview May 89 Sounds interview Feb 90
Melody Maker interview March 90 Sounds live review Dec 90
Sounds interview Jan 91 Melody Maker live review Aug 91
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