Haircut 100 had a carefree innocence of youth persona that could smooth over the cracks of day to day life with their sunshine smiley pop. Front man Nick Haywood had a face of innocence that no one couldn’t like, mixed with music taken from the top draw mixing salsa, funk and Beatles guitar lines, this unique mix put the band in the headlines of music magazines for all the right reasons.
Fast forward 40 years Haywood with his bandmates Les Nemes (bass guitar), Graham Jones (guitar), Phil Smith (brass), Marc Fox (percussion) and Blair Cunningham (drums) celebrate this milestone with a fabulously put together 4 CD release via Demon Music Group. The original album has been remastered form the original tapes for the release and it shows. The songs you know and love come at you at the speeding bullet, Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl), Fantastic Day and Love Plus One are all time classic singles, mixed in with album favourites Lemon Fire brigade, Baked Beans and Loves Got Me In Triangles makes for essential listening for anyone looking for the best of the bunch from anything released in 1982.
The rest of the release fills in gaps left right and centre of what could have been for the band. Whilst the second disc has remixes, b sides and extended versions it disc three that is the real eye opener. Featuring never before heard outtakes from the bands failed second long player, the only way to hear any versions of these songs up until now was via iffy sounding live bootlegs. The results we hear a full of the sort of anthems that would have propelled the band further into fans hearts. I Believe In Sundays, Hayleys Heart and Brookfield Girl have essence of what Haywood would go onto release in the 90’s, whilst Sunny Day, Sunny Girl is a full on funk attack. Its sort of tragic that these tracks weren’t given the full Haircut 100 treatment but all the same its intriguing to hear what the band were up to and what might have been.
Disc four is a live concert showcasing the band at their very best on the floorboards of The Hammersmith Odeon, the exude the sort of musicality some would only dream of achieving, the band play their set with aplomb, reaching new heights of wonderment. What with new interviews with band members, rare photos and memorabilia in the accompanying booklet this makes the set an essential purchase for anyone wanting to hear one of the best bands from 80’s at their very best.
Pelican West 40 can be purchased via the following link