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Monday, 10 April 2017

40 Years of Punk & New Wave 1977: I Don't Care - The Boys (Debut Single)

I Don't Care / Soda Pressing - The Boys
Released 12th April 1977*

*Though there were some copies available on the 9th in some stores I was informed. They sold out at the Virgin Store in London within three hours!

 I Don't Care
(Steel and Dangerfield)



Soda Pressing
(Steel and Dangerfield)

The Boys
Matt Dangerfield - guitar, vocals (1975-Present)
Casino Steel - organ, piano, vocals (1975-Present)
Honest John Plain - guitar, vocals (1975-Present)
Duncan "Kid" Reid - bass, vocals (1976–1981 & 1999-2011)
Jack Black - drums (1976–1981)


One of the most underrated bands around in 1977 I think were The Boys. They were often slighted because they were a bit Poppier sounding but they released a couple of great singles and a brilliant Debut album in 1977 that should not, in my humble opinion, be frowned upon.

Matt Dangerfield had been part of London SS (along with everyone in Punk who mattered and their dog!) and Casino Steel belonged to the Hollywood Brats (along with Andrew Matheson - a couple of their songs - Tumble With Me and Sick On You,  became part of The Boys set), who were a kinda glam meets proto-punk band in the early 1970's. They were like the New York Dolls of London! The group was championed by Keith Moon, who said they were the best band he had ever seen. You can read an interview here from The Independent with Andrew Matheson.

With Steel and Dangerfield teaming up and adding Honest John Plain - who brought along in mid-1976 two work colleagues Jack Black and Duncan "Kid" Reid, the line-up was now stable enough to play their debut show at the Hope and Anchor in Islington by 15th October 1976. After a few more concerts they inked a deal with NEMS (who funnily enough had rejected the Brats debut album 'All Grown Up' in 1973 - it was later released in 1975 in Norway - homeland of Casino Steel - and would get a UK release in 1980 by Cherry Red Records) in January 1977.

The Debut Single I Don't Care was a little bit slower than the version that appeared on the album and most compilations that have included the song lean towards the album version rather than the 7". I have to say that I also prefer the album version as it comes across as far more furious sounding! The B-Side, Soda Depressing was also redone for the album and is a bit faster as well.

Regarding the sleeve, Matt Dangerfield said, "The Brigitte Bardot poster was in the hallway of my flat on Warrington Crescent and the photographer was Ken Mewis (our manager). At the time we couldn't afford a photographer so Ken used to take our 'publicity' pics with an old polaroid camera of mine. I don't know if he always had the shakes but they always blurred, so we thought it was a good idea to make it look like a rushed paparazzi pic. It's also a rip-off of a similar picture of Mick (Jagger) in the back of a car (on the way to his drug trial I think)."

To support the release of the single The Boys were out on tour with ex-Velvet Underground bassist John Cale. On this night forty years ago they were fourth on the bill at The Roundhouse in Chalk Farm for a two night stand that also included The Clash* as second on the bill and Subway Sect on third on the bill.

*Duncan Reid kindly just informed me that The Clash actually did not play these shows, instead Generation X took their spot. 

Grateful to Steve Metcalfe on behalf of The Boys for some further information that I've added to this piece. Apologies for anything said previously that was not quite the correct information!

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