King Kurt On the Road – Pumping in Colne 1982

Colne – 1982

Level of Drunkenness : Wankered
Gig rating : ****
Arrests Made : *
Messiness : **
Bootleg Available : Probable

King Kurt’s first trip to Colne to play the legendary Franc’s Club. The first of many trips to the run-down Northern town whose only street credentials, thin though they were, was the wholly ineffective women’s peace camp on the hill, and Franc’s. The town itself is tiny, nobody there has jobs, and wherever you are in the town the only two pubs were both “down ‘road and ’round corner”. It had a takeaway as well, before we arrived, but it didn’t survive the night.

Everybody came to the gig. The Tetley Bittermen had come from Leeds and Bradford, Faye and Karen from Harrogate had come by bus, at least four from Grimsby, Onions, Bristols, the Aldershot Grrls were there, as was ex-Meteor RJ Pathetic, Miles “mellow” Milor, Barnzley, the Mill Hill Billies, and just about the entire South London crew. It was going to be a good night. A huge local crowd had turned out from all around the region, and all were focused on one thing: Seeing King Kurt gig and having a good time.

The atmosphere in Franc’s was ideal, and Franc himself is something of a showman, keeping the crowds informed and entertained. The gig went off well and it was one of those that had been “noticed” by the growing number of A&R men appearing in the audience. But it was the party afterwards were the real action took place.

Rory stayed at Franc’s place with the van, and he had to drive it back to London in the morning. The rest of us got invited to a student girl’s party. Her parents were away and she thought it would be “smashing” to invite a rock band to her party. Silly girl. This rock band has a hit number called “Wreck A Party Rock”. Get a clue, Sherlock. About twenty of us gathered together for the party, and then we realized Barnsley was with us.

A Cleveland Steamer in an Apple-Pie Bed

Barnsley had just been released from a London hospital after spending three months in there as a patient learning the hard way that if you fuck with the wrong people in South London you will get your arms and legs broken, ammonia in the boat. He had been told to leave London or he would likely be found some day in the Thames minus his nose and ears, so he’d tagged along with us. Good bloke, really, but a totally out-of-control Northern Nutter when he’s pissed.

The party was insane. It was full of girls with huge amounts of beer, and some good music. But they weren’t slags. They were ‘nice‘ girls, and, to our chagrin, none of them wanted to sleep with any of us. But it was still a good time to be had by all. It seems Barnsley had locked himself into the host’s parent’s room, and about eight other guys piled into a spare bedroom to get some shut-eye.

Barnsley was busy remaking the parent’s bed in a very neat albeit “Apple Pie” format. The Apple Pie Bed is a practical joke in which a drowsy person’s feet get caught in a folded back sheet half-way down the bed and as the person kicks out it pulls the covers off them. The joke had been further developed by Barnsley who berthed one or more Cleveland Steamers at the fold.

She Said

Almost as soon as the lights went out in the other room however, we heard some Northern lass in there with us. “Ooohhhh”, she said, “Poomp Grimsby poomp”. The whole room had cracked up laughing, but it was dark and we didn’t know which of the Grimsbies was the guilty party. The only evidence by the light of day, was a carton of black cherry yoghurt which had been partially spilled on the carpet more or less where the alleged sexual encounter occurred.

You may have heard King Kurt playing a cover of The Cramps “She Said”, and it’s origin was this incident. For a few weeks after that the band were doing a version with the chorus “She said, pump Grimsby pump”. It appears on a few bootleg tapes made in the era.

There was a follow-up to this incident the next day in which a Grimsby was given a tug by the law and identified as the one almost caught in flagrante the night before. Rory and the band had left Colne already, unwisely trying to follow Franc’s lengthy directions for Rory to just “follow his nose”. The van set off with the band groaning, “now we’ll never get there”. The Grimsby was picked up on the outskirts of Colne a little later while trying to hitch a lift.

Forensic Evidence

Back at the jailhouse the cops tried to strip search him but his underpants wouldn’t come off. A forensic examination, if there had been one, would have concluded that fibres in the suspect’s under-garments had fused to his pubic hair due to the formation of long-chain polymers during the hardening of yoghurt. The forensic scientists may not have been able to identify which flavor of yoghurt, but we all had our suspicions.

Further investigation, and chemical tests of the bedroom carpet, would have revealed that the yoghurt had been introduced, and spilled, during an apparent act of cunnilingus. In the intercourse immediately following, which according to several ear-witnesses was very much enjoyed by the good lady, liquid yoghurt was transferred to her lucky partner’s pubic area. He had dressed while the yoghurt was still in a liquid state allowing a glue-like bond to form by morning.

Thus is the origin of a King Kurt cover song, the band’s identification with Colne, and the occasional “black cherry” references that popped up in the early days. Yet bonding with Colne entailed more than mere polymerization of dairy products. Franc’s Club was one of the best. The crowds that go there know it is out of the way, but they’ve found someplace special, worth traveling to. Each of us was to return to Colne many times, as a group and individually.

Related Links
Tidy Old Turn Out
Pumping in Colne
Rotterdam ’83
Destruction in Durham
Woolwich Tramshed Riot
Franc’s Club, Colne
Scouse Headcrunchers
Official King Kurt

External Links

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