Chas Palmer-Williams - We Showed Them, Didn't We (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Chas Palmer-Williams

We Showed Them, Didn't We (2010)

Ashes Records

Sometimes you can wish for something but in reality you know it's not going to happen, regardless of the number of times you make deals with an imaginary deity of your choice. For me, the wish would be that the mighty Lightyear make a comeback, tour extensively and record and release that elusive third album. It does seem though that despite the forthcoming release of vinyl versions of the two Lightyear albums, Call of the Weasel Clan and Chris Gentlemen's Hairdresser and Railway Book Shop, the chances of wishes coming true are about as likely as seeing the headline "Minor Threat To Reform" on Punknews.

For those clueless to Lightyear's charms, lyrically they managed to hit the right vein between being funny and also having a political bent. There are far too many lines to mention which would identify how funny they actually were and to see them live was just always a joy-it wasn't just a band playing on stage, it was like a pantomime set to some crazy-arsed ska-punk being performed by a bunch of madmen.

However, if the whole of Lightyear cannot be arsed to make me happy, then Chas Palmer-Williams, the former vocalist of the UK's premier humorous ska-punk band of all time, has produced a five-track EP which really does go some way to making up for the lack of any Lightyear action.

With his distinctive vocals and a stripped down acoustic delivery, Palmer-Williams, aided and abetted by a motley crew of collaborators, basically provides the trademark lyrics full of witty observations. Some of the words might not resonate with those unfamiliar with the culture and geography of the UK, but they really do liven up the dreariest day. I find myself grinning like a Cheshire Cat from start to finish but it's "I Feel Like A Million Zimbawean Dollars" and "Now You've Got The Midlands Maddest Man" that really broaden my smile the most.

This is a gem of a release and if it really is the case that Lightyear are no more, then Chas Palmer-Williams certainly goes some way to providing some quality songs to get you singing and grinning. Hell, if you don't want to pay for the CD, you can get this for "Name Your Price" on Bandcamp.