The Wanglers-Combo Zombo

“Kicking Out For the Coast” is another recording from the Carlisle band The Wanglers (this to be added to their page). I play their record a lot, I have sung it at various time, in various countries, it sticks in ones head…it is “uplifting” it is refreshing to the doom and gloom that is often heard. Also the first song “Surfin on the Solway” mentions an area which I love…the Solway Coast, very close to Carlisle, and it is the 3rd fastest estuary in the UK for incoming tides. Becasue its speed it creates a tidal bore a few times a year. A few surfers and the odd kayaker have been known to follow it down (there was even a runner who tried to out run it! He does not succeed) , and its currents drowned an army and an English King…nowt wrong with that.

My record/EP is full of scratches and jumps. These tracks were kindly sent by Sean Todhunter, which will be included in The Wanglers page:

It is a great image: Surfin on the Solway! Of the forgotten coast line, its cold beaches, its wind beaten dunes, its murkey waters, the tretcherous estuary’s forever moving sandbanks… all of it does not conjur up the sun swept coat of the Western USA of “The Beach Boys” and “Jan and Dean”, but that’s what happens when you mix Cumbrian humour and Carlisle’s music. Matchbox Classics produced a classic.

The photos are of my (well used) record slieve:

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Grant Christie mailed me “Hi Kev, here’s a few pics of the Combo Zombo 12 “Surfing on the Solway record” cheers Grant.

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(photos by Grant Christie)

Combo Zombo
I was always a bit confused where The Wanglers ended and Combo Zombo started. A biography in last.fm writes about the transition from The Wangers to Combo Zombo, which helps a bit… but I am going to group them into one, because in my mind they are.

“Combo Zombo are a Surf Punk band hailing from Carlisle, Cumbria. The band started their own record label called Matchbox Classics when all the members of two local bands; The Limps and No Support contributed £50 each to fund the creation of a split EP entitled ‘Opposite Sides’ releasing two tracks from each band.’ Chris and Keith formed Supermatix from the ashes of No Support in 1981, released another EP called ‘Bad Timing’ then formed The Wanglers with members of The Limps and Adrian Jonnson from The Spivs. They released their seminal EP ‘Kickin’ out for the Coast’ which featured the signature tune ‘Surfin on the Solway’, the album ‘Wax!’ came the following year. In 1984 the band re-booted themselves as Combo Zombo and released ‘Zom Bee Eye Eee’ before taking time out for other projects. Although they did all get back together at various times during the ’90s for festive shows.

In 2012 Chris, Keith, Chuck and Adrian hit the boards again for the first time in 15 years with a ‘Matchbox Classics presents’ evening at the Club Victoria in Carlisle, they were joined by Izzy Strugglin’ and Captain AD for the set. There are threats of more action from these surf-punksters!”

Sean Todhunter kindly sent these recordings of Combo Zombo and “Zom Bee Eye Eee” which I am sure is a piss-take on the “Stars on 45” recordings we got in the 80s… (Tenpole Tudor got in on the act!)

Here is the video for the recording “Zom Bie Eye Eee”. The quote underneath reads “The Wanglers all the way from 1981. A ‘Matchbox Classics’ release. Hi to everyone involved who remembers me. Looking out for that digitally re-mastered re-release and my share of the royalties for my toy ray gun session work on ‘My baby’s lost in space.’ (Bob Jefferson)
Didn’t Michael Jackson rip their idea off?

right, it is raining and cold… I am off surfin…

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Author: ethnopiper

A Ethnomusicologist and musician of traditional music, Small pipe maker, teacher and workshop presenter ... https://ethnopiper.wordpress.com/

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