Way back when, during the ‘Rise of the Machine’ some time in the spring of 1981, Rockin’ Kurt and his Saur Krauts started pounding the well-rotten boards of the London Rock’n’Roll clubs and pubs.
Initially the line up consisted of Jeff Harvey — vocals, (Handsome) John Reddington — guitar, Alan (Junior, later aka Maggot) Power — saxamaphone, Robert (Boppin’ Bert) Boustead — bass, Mark (Rory) Lyons — drums, and after seeing their second show, Paul (Thwack) Laventhol joined on geeter in time for the third gig in July of ’81.
During the autumn of that year, Rockin’ Kurt & His SK’s took a trip up to Bangor, North Wales, where Jeff had some chums who’d set up two shows. They were well attended, at least 5 people came to both shows! After spending our hard-earned cash (20 pounds for both nights I seem to recall, and no, not each, altogether!), we drove back through the Welsh hills to London. On our way we decided to do a show for the passing tourists in their lovely warm coaches while we stood on a big rock. From that day on we dropped the ‘Roc’ from Rockin’ Kurt and his Saur Krauts (was too long and hard to say it pissed!) and became known simply as King Kurt.
‘Til spring of ’82 King Kurt remained the same, doing gigs around local London, the Fridge, Clarendon, the Pits, Old Queens Head etc, dressing up in silly clothes, playing to packed houses of at least three people, giving out prizes of sauseges and sauerkraut to anyone who dared dance. Rory had been busy getting King Kurt regular shows at the 101 Club in Clapham where he worked, and by this time the momentum of virual popularity was growing. Alas Jeff was getting itchy feet and wanted to leave the music bigtime and go to art school in Birmingham. King Kurt needed a replacement singer, and needed one fast! Along came The Smeg. Things looked good. King Kurt could say goodbye to Jeff and continue on the crazy lonesome train ride that was upon them.
KK gave Jeff a big farewell ‘do’ at the 101 Club in Clapham.
KK invited everybody they knew.
KK dressed up to the nines.
The club had more drink than a brewery.
KK baked Jeff a cake.
KK covered Jeff in the cake.
Well, that was it. All over.
King Kurt’s fate had been sealed. As soon as Jeff got caked, all hell broke loose and it was a massive drunken food fight of a night. What a ‘kin great laugh it was too!
Ever since then, the audience, (not wanting to miss out on an opportunity like that), started bringing their own food to throw at the band, as well as each other! The news spread like a bushfire and, well, here we are now over 25 years later trying to tell the story!