Normally the editorial policy here at Dangerous Minds—such that there is one—is that we tend to post about things we actually like, can get behind and want to enthusiastically share with our readers. It’s difficult to write about stuff you hate and who wants to participate in a “Hey, smell this, it smells like shit” sort of arrangement? Neither reader nor writer? Well, this post will be a departure from all that…
A few days ago, by accident of YouTube’s recommendation algorithm, the video for a song called “Fancy Pants” by a band called Kenny was inflicted upon me. I was dumbfounded by how incredibly shitty it was and decided to lob it out to all the groovesters on Twitter:
Everything about this sucks. The band's name. Their gear. The song title. Everything. It sucks so bad that it sort of transcends merely mundane suckage & transmutes into some higher level of terrible & truly awe-inspiring awful. Then it sucks some more https://t.co/VgA7q29w6b— Richard Metzger (@RichardMetzger) May 2, 2018
I then proceeded to become oddly fascinated by this awful band, this Kenny. Soon I’d fallen into a K-hole, but thankfully it wasn’t much deeper than a mud puddle (and I happen to really like Mud.)
Songwriters Bill Martin and Phil Coulter, who’d written #1 songs for the Bay City Rollers (“Shang A Lang,” “Saturday Night”), trippy library music, several Eurovision hits (including Sandie Shaw’s “Puppet on a String”) and a World Cup song for Scotland, were responsible for the blight on 70s pop that was Kenny. With the Bay City Rollers themselves as their backing band, Coulter sang the lead vocal on a song called “The Bump” which started selling briskly. The name Kenny apparently came from an Irish singer the songwriting duo had worked with named Tony Kenny as if to imply that the song might be by him. After Mickie Most’s RAK Records had moved around 250,000 records, they started to look around for a band who could “front” for Kenny ala Milli Vanilli on TV’s Top of the Pops.
A progrock group called Chuff, led by a singer named Ross Pringle, rehearsed in a cold storage unit of a banana warehouse where Pringle worked. The group played at the Windsor Pop Festival and shared the stage in London with heavy groups like Hawkwind, The Edgar Broughton Band and the Troggs. Chuff were approached about becoming Kenny and signed up for the gig after firing poor Ross. A guy called Rick Driscoll replaced him and Kenny, this Kenny, was born.
The success of “The Bump” was followed up with the similar sounding “Fancy Pants,” “Baby I Love You OK” and “Julie Anne.” Their debut album, The Sound of Super K—what a title, eh?—included uncredited contributions from journeyman guitarist Chris Spedding and legendary session drummer Clem Cattini. It didn’t sell that well. In 1976, Kenny went to court to sever their ties with Martin & Coulter and RAK Records. Martin & Coulter moved on to Slik who covered “Fancy Pants” and had another hit with it.
These guys just have to be the band that the League of Gentlemen based Crème Brûlée on, right? Imagine Dave Brock or Lemmy’s reaction had they turned up at a Hawkwind gig looking like this!