Ludicrous Lollipops
Siren Magazine, issue 8, March 1992

"Scrumdiddlyumptious EP" (Damaged Goods)
Not the most reassuring name for either a band or record, is that what you're thinking? Not so. If it's good enough for the boys Williams and Lamacq, it's good enough for you, as The Lollies are the latest in the line that reads Mega City 4, Carter, Neds and Senseless Things; mischievous pop with occasional dabs of reggae flavouring and shamefully fizzy choruses, bent out of shape by vivacious vocals. Four songs too, which is nice. "Smile (Ya Bastard)" is a right old caper, "Brag" and "Time Spent Hiding" beetle along with lyrics deeper than initially realised and "Lies About My Life", a sort of main song, as opposed to a mere A-side, is a dipping spree of comfy charm.

Suck hard.
NME 4 April 1992

Scrumdiddlyumptious EP (Damaged Goods)
Oh God. Oh God. Oh God. This is a record so bad that phrases like "so completely and utterly and irredeemably and totally nauseatingly shite and so f___ing awful that you'd rather be slowly tortured to death with needles dipped in leprous dog shit than ever have to listen to it again" and "putrid and pathetic Home Counties '60s retro power pop lamely celebrating inadequacy, insipidness and feebleness in a manner so irritating it makes you want to go outside and just kill anyone who looks stupid enough to possibly be in the band" do not do it justice. Everything about this record - the sleeve, the band's name, the piss awful sub-Freddie And The Dreamers jangling, the grotesque kiddy imagery and the free lollipops - stink of the shit of a vegan with cancer. Gag-orama!
Carl: "Didn't people die in the war to stop this kind of thing? You notice that every band that puts a lyric sheet in their record goes bad? Simple Minds went bad when they put a lyric sheet in. The Beatles were good until 'Sgt Pepper', right? And this band have put a lyric sheet in their first single! We don't understand music anymore, this kind of stuff just confuses me."
Would you wipe your arse on this record?
Carl: "No. I wouldn't want it in my house, on the radio or anywhere near me. No, don't smash it, there'll be somebody out there who wants it, more's the pity, it's a shame, isn't it? It's not as bad as The Wedding Present record though." (2/10)
NME 27 June 1992

A Part (Damaged Goods)
Reviewed by Mark E Smith, hosted by David Quantick.
Jingly jangly wank is the order of the day. Most expensive indie single this week, because it has an inner sleeve with a lyrics sheet. Dull.
MES: Do you like I Ludicrous? They're brilliant, one of the best groups in Britain. Yeah, they are a bit like us, but they're very funny live. They've got this new one called 'Richard Madeley' (sings) "Richarrrd Madeley!" (Mark reads the lyric sheet). They're from Coventry and they've got a song called 'Godiva'. Urrgh! Real Midlands this, innit? Coventry. They should be sent there! Nah, say 'a useful effort'.
Melody Maker 11 July 1992

A Part (Damaged Goods)
From an address on the outskirts of Mega City Four comes a plain but likeable account of bewilderment and yearning, combining runaway drums and stabbing staccato guitar with a song of confusion and regret. It you're stagediving to forget a bruised heart, these Lollipops are for you.
Melody Maker 1991?

Badoom, badoom, badoom! The singer thumps his guitar's bottom experimentally on the stage, and that's fine, because in baggy days like these the only defence to being called unfashionable is offense. Anyone transmitting pure power, with a precocious insistence on fun cannot be denied. Electric Sex Circus have achieved anonymity with their debut single, with its totally black gatefold, advent-calendar sleeve, which makes it impossible to track down in shops, but onstage their wired hilarity screams their name.

With youthful cockiness that says, "we haven't headlined over anyone yet and we don't intend to start now", the bow-legged rock of "Jack The Hat" or adrenalin-fueled "Spannerbadge" and "Cut Your Head Off" (a song about laughing while your girlfriend goes up in flames) are caked in excitement. When they finish with a quick rummage through Joy Division's attack they leave their guitars balanced on the amps, feeding back respectably, and then manipulate the noise by playing foot pedals. Innovation!

Ludicrous Lollipops have a crap name, conjuring up unseemly images of an effete Sarah band, all Walton's haircuts and hooped tops. Nay, gutterites, these boys fit snugly in between Mega City Four and Senseless Things, with addled guitar angst and songs that panic and wet themselves in their own excitement. The bassist even thinks he's a guitarist too as they race each other towards scrambled climaxes. "Mush" is their EP and mush is the result.

Be there or be square-dancing.

Mick Mercer
Melody Maker 19 January 1991

Finding normal people at a Lollies gig is harder to imagine than IPC paying its freelancers more than once in a millenium. Tonight's crowd have been released back into the community because of cuts in the social services, but they enjoy themselves enormously, rupturing blood vessels as the langorous beauty of Lolly turns into fiendish, moronic raging. The Lollies clobber you with with sound, with songs of cheek and blusty, with creamy guitar, dazed but deceptive bass, and grotesquely intense drumming. Top that with vocal charismatics from a melodia-wielding prune and you've got a rare old racket.

The boys in Beef have smartened themselves up. No longer just back from 'Nam, they look smooth and calm, unable to offend anyone's relatives. Given that the sound has been drained and rebuilt, they could almost be described as looking confident. Gazelle-like drumming hooves pummel the stage, toasted guitars spin off, and the vocals soar out from under Jane's tinselly wig and form into vignettes of social distortion.

The newer material sounds spot on - if you line up the titles, "Lilac", "Ladybird", "Locust", "Wrestlers", you could just have a great new comic - as the oldies crash into existence. About their cover of "Ruby" I have little to say, other than it isn't quite as disgusting as the original.

What do you get if you put Jane Beef and Saddam Hussein inside a phonebox? Blood, and lots of it. Call it natural justice.

Mick Mercer
NME 1991

A weekend of gigs to mark the Pop Club's first birthday starts here with a big noise in the making. The Ludicrous Lolliipops, hailing from Coventry, are the next base in the development of The Wonder Stuff Ned's Mega City Four line.

In many ways they're the classic Crimped-Pop-Guitar band; an 'attractive' singer guitarist, a Bass Thing style bassist, a second guitarist who looks like a stage-diver at a Carter gig and a drummer who, for all his hard work, remains virtually anonymous. Brilliant: The Lollipops lean heavily on the 'misfit' market, without slipping into the hero worship trap which strangles so many fans who form bands.

Their set is Entertainment meets Pop meets Attitude. Mixing up a thought-out thrashy guitar sound with some Ned's-ish vocals, the four-piece are beginning, thankfully, to build their own identity amid the obsessive teen (fraggle??!) culture. Songs like 'Disintegration' have a disobedient feel, that's offset by touches of humour and an improving sense of bitterness.

At one point they all start swivelling around on stage, like models on the top of music boxes: at others they jump around like spring-loaded, crappy toys. All they need now is experience and increased exposure. In spite of their name, this band don't suck.

Steve Lamacq
NME 11 April 1992

Crazy name, crazy guise. Until now the Lollipops have been seen languishing behind the likes of Mega City Four / Senseless Things. Tonight though, sees them in a different light - beginning to find an identity of their own (even if that identity is 'Madmen').

The Lollipops are more like Madness, if anything; more Dickies than a bunch of pricks. The bassist reminds me more and more of a failed Fourth Division footballer who's really let himself go. Clumsy looking but, doubtless, still determined. They all look a bit daft, really.

The guitarist moves one of his legs like he's got cramp during most of the set, almost toppling over as they lunge into 'Brag' and 'Smile', the most aggressive track from the EP. They make you think of kids TV, the Nutty Boys' video where they fall into a swimming pool and the Ealing Comedy films. What larks! In between this big fun, Lollipops are strung-up and angst-driven (including 'Lies About My Life', with its bitter undercurrent).

I imagine people will tag them 'retarded' or 'childish' but, in a colourful kind of way, they are. They don't mind. The thing that sticks is how can a band start their second childhood, when they've barely finished their first?

Steve Lamacq
NME 15 August 1992

"Smile, ya bastard!!" Say what? You're telling me, grumpy poseur to grin along with your asinine rumblings simply because you just happen to be chirpier than a suitcase full of sparrows? Oh, OK then. . .

It gives me great pleasure to reveal that the singer of headliners Resque is scampering around the audience gushing about how "unbelievable" the turn-out is. It gives me even greater pleasure to confess that the shirtless, sweat-dripping Resque and the volatile Mod-isms of The Revs contribute to a night of such inebriated enthusiasm it damn well almost made this job worthwhile.

Which brings us, rather sweetly, to Ludicrous Lollipops, the Daft Kids On The Pop Block. The ones whose dayglo shirts are actually louder than their songs. Sent from Coventry to try us with their sweet-toothed gimmickry, they are the brash, Sanatogen-crazed leaping matchstick holders on the glum mantlepiece of indiedom. For that alone they should be worth a brief dalliance.

Beneath the candyfloss exterior lurks. . . more candyfloss, actually; the Lollies are arming themselves to the (rotten) back teeth with sub-Fraggle spunked up shakedowns, from 'Lies About My Life' to 'Tag', and making the weaponry count with such alarming bounciness they should audition for Watership Down 2 forthwith. Yeah, it's cheap and cheerful, but it's more truthful than trivial; positively hectic instead of aimlessly energetic.

Sure, the foursome are moulding new shapes out of plasticine which should have been thoroughly knackered by the legions of post-Neds hopefuls, but right now the Lollies have both the character (however absurd) and panache to lead the pre-packed pack. Even if the encore, a tear through 'I Only Wanna Be With You', should condemn them to a firing squad. "Smile, ya bastard"? Enjoy.

Simon Williams

Thanks to Jo Fisher for this clipping.
Grateful thanks to ex-drummer Alan Harris for supplying many of these clippings.
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