This eight-piece new wave band from Chislehurst (Kent) provided a messy mix of punk thrash, novelty songs, and covers of standards such as Roy Orbison‘s Pretty Woman (rendered Whiffy Woman) and the Leiber-Stoller classic Riot In Cell Block No. 9 (rendered Fracas On Platform No. 9).
Their own numbers ranged from the tender pop-punk of I Fell In Love With A Female Plumber From Harlesden NW10 through the true-life je ne sais quoi of I’ve Got Lots Of Famous People Laying Dormant Under The Floorboards Of My Humble Abode to the unrestrained passion of Michael Booth’s Talking Bum.
Legend has it that Splodge began when Max Splodge (born Martin Everest) gatecrashed Butlin’s at Bognor Regis in 1976. Pat Thetic (Terence Dale) was ordered to eject him but instead, they formed a duet.
The duet grew overnight into Splodge Mark One who were involved in such absurdist gestures as hurling eggs at Henry Cooper in the Thomas A’ Beckett in the Old Kent Road, supergluing Reginald Boozealot’s car, and giving Rolf Harris pornographic phone calls . . .
Acquiring musical instruments was a turning point in their career. From here the band began ‘playing’ at college canteens, and at one stage they invited their audience to bring eggs to hurl at them. This proved so popular that it became impossible for them to walk past local greengrocers without getting a good egging from Splodge enthusiasts.
Excessive egging from the band was the reason for the first bassist’s departing. He ran off with former third singer Caramel who apparently had to leave “Because her tits were too big and she kept falling over.”
However, it was a gig at Beckenham Park in summer 1979 which proved to be a turning point in their career. Posing as a non-musical theatre group the band proceeded to give a full performance to the outrage of the local citizenry.
Park keepers evicted them, local papers condemned them for their stage act and ‘four-letter filth’ and the police threatened to prosecute Max for ‘indecent exposure’.
The band enjoyed an unexpected #7 hit in June 1980 with the song Two Pints Of Lager and A Packet Of Crisps Please.
Cobbled together in a single day (and inspired by a real-life exchange at closing time in The Crown in Chislehurst), the track was played on Radio 1 by Mike Reid and began selling 17,000 copies a day.
Splodgenessabounds still tours and records sporadically, although several of the original members have passed away, including Roger Rodent who died in 2002.
Max Splodge (Martin Everest)
Baby Greensleeves (Christine Miller)
Pat Thetic (Terence Dale)
Donkey Gut (Winston Forbes)
Sax, paper and comb
Desert Island Joe ‘Lurch’ Slyth
Desert Island Joe