With the release of a new double A side single this Friday it seems timely to focus on the work to date of the mighty Staggs.
Staggs are Scott and Ridley a pair of north eastern England musicians, artists and raconteurs. The Staggs project was born out of a one-off experimental remix of their own anarcho-punk track (the band was Reality Control and they formed 50% of it*) from the early 80s. The production is wholly contemporary but the anger of that era lives on in their energy, lyrical content and vocal expression. With a healthy cynicism towards British culture contained in the wealth of nostalgic samples and a bizarre smattering of French language thrown in for good measure, STAGGS give a sly “clin d’oeil” to 1970/80s Britain.
The latest release from the band, on German Shepherd Records, “A Rum Do” finds the duo dabbling into techo/electronica and krautrock via two stand out tracks – “Robotomy” and “Don’t Call Me Satan”
But lets go back to the beginning and work our way through all their back catalogue.
June 2013 saw the first release from the duo with the fascinating “Weird Kids” EP with a clear statement of intent.
Later that year the sophomore effort was the challenging “Mother Natures Bastard Sons” ….
This was quickly followed by a vivid aural dissection of Sir Cliff in the memorable “Staggs Xmas”….
In April of the following year an ep of reinterpretations of the work of Staggs was released under the intriguing title of “Smart Husband” Resonator Set (reviewed by myself here)
In the same month the cheeky “Risqué But Not Blue” saw the light of day with its’ baleful commentaries on middle class existence (reviewed here)
In October Staggs took the brave step of aligning themselves with German Shepherd Records kicking off with the memorable single “When Eartha Kitt Met Pete Tong”…
The now traditional Staggs Xmas single was revealed, partnership with Cryptic Cut, with a remake of two songs…
There was a long wait for the next release, but the wait was worthwhile for the stunning “Shy Bairns Get Nowt” , again reviewed at the time, including a revealing interview with the pair.
The Xmas single for 2015 was the suitably challenging “Funk Me Jesus” which included a remix from Space Museum.
Pending the release of the newest offering of the band which is out on May 6th, February 2016 saw the release of a solo effort from Scott described at the time as follows “Moving sideways from the warm embrace of Staggs, m.t.scott revisits his back catalogue giving us an insight into other parts of his musical endeavours. The usual Scott themes are in play, biting and caustic wit set amongst cinematic aural adventures providing a challenging and fulfilling listening experience“.
So there you have it, everything you wanted to know about Staggs but were afraid to ask. True iconclasts, challengers of the mundane and damn good at what they do…..
* Reality Control were the Sound of the Newcastle suburbs! Heaton Manor’s very own Anarcho Punk band! – a 21 track retrospective of their work was released in 2013 on Anti-Society via Flat Earth records on vinyl and CD . The bands “Nice” track subsequently re-emerged in Staggs form on “Shy Bairns Get Nowt”. They are not to be confused with a contemporary band with the same name from Aylmer, Ontario. You can grab the album here.