Sunday, July 08, 2012

Captain Sensible: Wot

By 1982 the guitarist Captain Sensible (real name Raymond Burns) had parted from Rat Scabies (real name Christopher Millar) and the rest of The Damned and enjoyed an unlikely UK no. 1 with his version of  'Happy Talk' from South Pacific.

This, his follow up, was released in the same year, owed nothing to Rodgers and Hammerstein and reached only no. 26.

But it seems that 'Wot' was more popular elsewhere. Interviewed by Ink 19 in 2001, Sensible said:
What do you think is the most controversial thing you've done in your career? 
Oh, dear. [Long pause] I remember when rap first started and I did that stupid rap piss-take, I did a song called "Wot." I thought rap would be around for five minutes and I didn't think anyone would take it seriously. And how stupid and wrong I was. So I did this song and it was a bloody massive hit! It was number one in France for seven weeks. I couldn't go anywhere in France without people chasing me down the road, you know? So, not that that was controversial, but I used to come over to New York and go to these black radio stations and they couldn't believe that I was a white bloke, and a white bloke from England as well. They couldn't see it. 
But "Wot" is a very British expression. Americans don't say that. 
Yeah, exactly. And the whole joke about the lyric was that it was done with kind of an upper-class accent. What I was taking the piss out of was not so much the rap; I was taking the piss out of the upper-class English. You know, stupid English people trying to get down and boogie [note: The Captain pronounced it "Boo-gay"]. [Quoting lyrics,] "I'm aware that the guy must do his work/but the pile driver man drove me berserk!/He drove me berserk, I say!" 
And I recall you took a bit of a jab at Adam Ant in that song, who was all the rage at the time. 
Yeah, I couldn't work out what Adam was all about. "Ant Music for Sex People" -- what was that all about? What a strange bloke he was. No, he's alright. He was cute while he had his hair. [Laughs hard] Oh, you bitch!
As to the video, the above suggests that everyone in it is a lookalike - it was only Adam Ant I thought might be the original. Except Hugh Lloyd. I don't suppose anyone found work as a Hugh Lloyd lookalike even in his sixties heyday.

In September 2006, says Wikipedia, Sensible formed his own political party - the Blah! Party. Sadly, as his own website records:
a lack of organizational skills has seen that dwindle somewhat and my political rants now take the form of the odd rant on my Facebook and Twitter pages.

1 comment:

Paul Walter said...

Superb tune. I have the 7 inch. You seem to have lived an almost paralell life to me, musicwise....