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  • Writer's pictureVivienne Boucherat

Blog 23: New Boots and Panties

Updated: Nov 20, 2020

I listened to one of my all time favourite albums this week - ‘New Boots and Panties!!’ by Ian Dury (1977). It is just a fantastic energy giving listen, and for me, like listening to Elvis Costello’s ‘My Aim Is True’, took me straight back to the 1970s. 1977 to be precise.  ‘New Boots and Panties!!’ was recorded very close to where Chris and I have lived for the last 24 years - in the Old Kent Road, London. (Chris [White]and Rod Argent actually worked in this same studio in the 1970s too - that’s another story).  Anyway, as I listened I recalled the two occasions I had seen Ian Dury in concert - both times in Sheffield, UK. I got to see him in 1977 and again in 1979 - either side of him (and the Blockheads) doing a lot of touring in the US supporting the likes of Lou Reed. Both gigs were memorable for sheer excitement, energy and brilliant songs. There was something captivating and magnificent about Ian Dury and he had a beautiful way with words.  The second time (City Hall) the crowd seemed a lot bigger - it didn’t dilute the show one bit. He visibly struggled onto the stage, but the effects of polio didn’t stop him being one of the most inspiring, energetic, entertaining and vibrant artists I have ever seen live. The audience went wild and stayed wild for the entire gig. It was packed, everyone was out of their seats sweating and screaming and singing. It was perfect!

I got backstage that night to get his autograph! It is a prized possession (though sadly at the moment it is in a box in a storage unit!) I asked him to write something for me on a piece of paper in green pen and he wrote ‘clothes’ and signed it. 

I would recommend this album to anybody - bad language and all. It is a diamond.

In these times of social distancing I look back to first hearing his music with full-on nostalgia and hope that one day it is possible for the younger generation to experience the outrageously loud, overcrowded, unpredictable live messy music of their heroes. 

I also hope we will get the chance again to shop carelessly for new boots and panties!!

Love and music and good memories to all of you.

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