Sunday 12 July 2015

Wat Tyler - Hops And Barley


A great old English singalong today with a song that'll end up rattling around in your head, preferably as you down a few pints of real ale.

  Evolving from the ashes of anarcho-punks 4 Minute Warning, Wat Tyler began playing live in 1986 and featured vocalist/drummer Sean Forbes (4 Minute Warning, Hard Skin), bassist Andi Tuck (4 Minute Warning, Thatcher On Acid),  guitarist Smithy (4 Minute Warning), and vocalist Julie.

  The band took their name from the leader of the 1381 Peasant's Revolt in England in which he marched a group of protesters from Canterbury to London to oppose the institution of a poll tax. Unsurprisingly, the band often commented on political issues but they also employed surreal humour and parody to get their message across.

  They released their debut 6 track ep, Contemporary Farming Issues, on their own Rugger Bugger Discs label in 1989. It contains the song I've posted below.
Over the course of the next 13 or so years they released an eclectic body of work, including numerous splits with the likes of Leatherface (who contributed a cover of today's song), J Church, Helen Love, Mambo Taxi etc..... There were also the albums Bavarian Drinking Songs, The Fat Of The Band and splits with Thatcher On Acid and XPensive Dogs. Possibly their most successful song, the Madonna parodying Sexless, was single of the week in both NME and Kerrang!

  This is Hops And Barley......

Hops and barley will be the death of me It comes from the wood and it does you no good So raise your glasses to the good men of Kent Who worship the hops and the barley The brew is on the go once again Joe licks his lips and smiles For every pint he downs he more proves that he's a man And he comes home full of vile Next morning he vows to abstain It'll be orange juice next time But the power of this vine still haunts him And he raises his glass to the sky In the garden of England Where real men could hold a pint The hops were picked and the barley ripe And beer was a way of life Now we're told that Foster's the thing Become a lager lout today So I go to the bar and order a jar of county 1045!

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