Open-top cars with fins, bootlace ties and quiffs the size of diving boards: these are just some of the emblems of ‘fifties Americana that come to mind when listening to Pink Peg Slax. In fact, the image on the cover of their new CD, Rock-A-Beery Boogie: The Very Best of Pink Peg Slax, says it all – a photoshop of the boys in the band sitting in a bar with a young, grinning Elvis Presley.
All the more suprising, then, if you don’t know them, that the Slax hail not from Memphis, Tennessee but from Leeds, West Yorkshire. In the band’s heyday in the 1980s there was a rumour going round that Leeds boasted more bands than Nashville, and Pink Peg Slax were not just one of the hardest working but also one of the most entertaining, peddling their brand of stand-up rockabilly that had audiences a-whooping and a-jiving – frequently at the Faversham Hotel, where the lads regularly held court.
The Slax recently played on a double bill with Spizz Energi (allegedly the first ever band to have an indie chart hit, with ‘Where’s Captain Kirk?’) and the verve in evidence on their Best Of album sounds timeless, fresh and appealing as ever. As Sabotage Times editor James Brown is quoted as saying, on the sleeve notes, ‘If Elvis had been a Marx brother, he would have created Pink Peg Slax’.
Kicking off with the swoozy, fiddle-embroidered Cajun reel of ‘Self-Pitying Stan’, the song titles say it all. ‘Dripping (My Love For You)’, a love song to Holsten Export lager, ‘Eat More Meat’, ‘Porky Pig’, ‘The Last Cigarette [at the end of the day]’, ‘Suddenly I Feel I’m Getting Old’ and the marvellous ‘Excuses (At A Dollar A Throw)’ all point with cheeky lyirical dexterity to the band’s love of indulgence and love of life in a variety of stylistic homages to heroes from Eddie Cochrane to Hank Williams.
It’s undemanding music that will bring a smile to the face and a tap to the toe of anyone with even the most modest dollop of rock ‘n’ roll in their heart, and you can check it out on Amazon and Spotify.
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