Randomising the record collection #27: The Gorillas – She’s My Gal

#584 – The Gorillas – She’s My Gal
(7-inch single, 1976) (Discogs tracklisting)

27 gorillas

I’ve got other, more important stuff to do today. No change there, then – but faced with a need to scale down my obsessive post-referendum news/social media fixation, I must conjure up a fresh displacement activity. And so, as “She’s My Gal” has been in my direct line of vision for the past three months, patiently stacked behind the office hi-fi, perhaps it’s finally time to dispatch it back to its rightful resting place around the corner, nestling between The Go-Go’s and Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci.

In the autumn of 1976, impatient for the arrival of UK punk on record, I was casting around for the nearest substitutes. Six years ago, writing about Dr. Feelgood in The Guardian, I made mention of this transient phase.

For those of us who were impatient for British punk rock to make the leap from enticing music-press buzz to ­tangible vinyl product, Dr Feelgood and their compatriots at the rowdier end of the pub rock scene – Eddie and the Hot Rods, Count Bishops, Tyla Gang – were as close an approximation as we could find to the music we had read about, but could only piece together in our imaginations. Ahead of the punk eruption, these John the Baptist figures were leading the charge, showing that rock music could be reinvigorated by a high-energy, no-nonsense, back to basics approach.

And so it was with The Gorillas, an equally rowdy product of the London pub-rock circuit, and this release for one of the UK’s first independent labels, Chiswick Records. Having already hoovered up as much as I could find from the Stiff label – Nick Lowe, Tyla Gang, Lew Lewis and, most crucially of all, The Damned – I was now turning my attention to their spiritual counterparts, and “She’s My Gal” duly became the second of five near-consecutive purchases from Chiswick (a run that was only broken by “Anarchy In The U.K.”).

As much a perpetuation of bovver-glam as a prefigurement of punk, the catchy swagger of “She’s My Gal” bridged my listening gap more ably than most. I shall place it back among the G’s with fondness.

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