The devoted have never forgotten The Tights were manufactured originally in Worcestershire during the height of Punk credibility and the band still inspire loyalty locally. Hewn in ’77 before imploding in true Punk style in 1979 the band then “got back together” in 2004. The album “TV, Work & Bed” is the result of this more recent foray into the musical hinterland. Clearly, the wide-eyed innocence and dead-eyed world weariness have not dissipated.
Accepted analysis of the musical soundscape insists that Punk was born out of a boredom of the over indulgent, flabby and complacent Prog-rock of the era; coupled with a DIY-aesthetic that anyone could embrace. For me the humdrum nature of life itself galvanised a teenage force that were tired of the status quo, implicitly and explicitly. The £30 a week YTS was only going to take you so far in life. The Tights fed off this oeuvre of “TV, Work & Bed” and the resultant Punk antidote is greater than the sum of its endearing parts.
The Bauhaus tinged Blood and Flowers would clearly have the front-line jumping in near unison if the hips and knees would allow. The opening bass notes giving way to what Elvis Costello referred to as “fascistic drumming,” with a nuanced guitar switching from intimidating chops to subtle runs of enhancing notes. This track is so of its time.
The true spirit of 1977 is captured in 7707. The attendant deadened guitar chords give way to a melody and a sing-a-long quality. For many 1977’s newly discovered chaos signalled hope and freedom; the vocals of Orgee offer a care-free version if this time. The vocals and lyrics of the track reflecting a great time: “to miss the last train home!” Oh, the joy of knowing the night could throw up a wealth of opportunities as a result. “You coming down the pub or what?”
You have to acknowledge that Malcolm Orgee does not attempt to sound like anyone else, however: there are hints of a few pub-bands and council estate crooners to make comparisons entertaining.
State of Nature is Art-college power punk with an intensity which is unrelenting. The musical limitations are in fact its strengths. The phrases “You are cruel” and “Man is cruel” is a three word mantra alerting us to the universal impact, as “nature turns to dust”.
Idealist naivety underpins Poison Heart as our hapless hero wants to walk out of this life as “everyone has a poison heart”. The buzz of Rob Banks guitar is reminiscent of the Buzzcocks in the intro and you are straight back there again…back in a time, when you could write a line about “walking down the street”.
The Tights are most definitely from the streets. Their band name originated from a chance meeting with two Punk girls outside Barbarellas in Brum, who employed stink bombs as perfume and wore…ripped fish-net tights.
The maturity of the band is represented in the anthem dedicated to the modern preoccupation with the self. Me First is a catchy dirge, with religious chants and a repetitive chorus capturing the selfish mind set of the populous. And no, “we don’t have to live by selfish rules”! I doff my cap to you…
The industrialised factory on the front cover of my vinyl copy suggests I think a view of life as predictable and monotonous. The regimented rows of desks on the reverse back cover suggest society’s need for order. For me my flat mat grey finish vinyl represents a mundane colourless world. The Tights by contrast bring a little colour, some polite anarchy and a sense of songs fashioned by hand from experience. Cheltenham may have had the Crack but Worcester had a band all of their own too and don’t forget that!
By: The Swilgate Scuttler