THE BEST BAND I ever saw live was Hairy Banjo. From the first jangly strum of their wistful, indie fuelled chords, and the exceptional craft of their lyrics (as exemplified in their opening song, 'Hairy Banjo' - we're Hairy Banjo, who the fuck are you) I was hooked.
They were soon raised out of the toilet venue circuit by none other than Mark E. Smith, who booked them as the warm-up act for The Fall. However it all started to unravel at this point for Hairy Banjo. It was bad enough being such dicks that at one notorious gig the entire audience left before the main act, but spending their life savings on a street team to paste over The Fall's promo material with posters proclaiming 'the Mark E. Smith miserable cunt apology tour' was the last straw. They were dropped.
The seemingly inevitable end for Hairy Banjo came in Texas. They were paid by the Scottish Arts Council to visit SXSW where they strutted about as if they owned the place, insulting and alienating every band, roadie, and music journalist they came into contact with. At Rowdy's Salon, they drunkenly drove a Cadillac on stage two hours late, careering into the drumkit and crushing the guitars, before getting out wearing ten gallon hats, brandishing loaded handguns and breaking into an a capella version of a song they had just written, 'Texas is Shit'. The audience immediately shot every member of the band dead.
It was the first and only time a Hairy Banjo gig ended, not in a riot, but with applause.
May 1 on the Pacific Crest Trail, 35 Years Ago
6 hours ago