Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Among punk rocks many spin-offs and subdivisions (horror punk, funky punk and Christ-knows-what-else punk, etc.) perhaps no movement is as simultaneously obscure and awesome as Medieval Punk. Of course, when there is only ONE band in this beyond-exclusive genre, it not hard to figure out why it was obscure, but I’m here to tell you why it was also awesome. While anyone who has ever seen the 1978 Sex Pistols film The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle knows exactly who Eddie Tenpole is, the story of this band goes way beyond that of a crazy guy screaming “Who Killed Bambi” into a vacuum cleaner. Formed in 1974 while bands like The Sweet and Slade still ruled the UK charts, a young Edward Tudorpole (you can’t make something like that up folks) put together the wildly entertaining Tenpole Tudor, a bit pub, a bit pop, and although their wasn’t a word for it yet, a bit punk. Known for performing in period garb, with Eddie himself in a full chain mail suit, their unique brand of Middle Age madness is perhaps even more apparent in the video for "Wunderbar" but I couldn’t find a clean copy of it, so here is "Swords of a Thousand Men," released on Stiff Records in 1981. The old saying “they don’t make ‘em like this anymore” barely applies here, because in the case of Tenpole Tudor, they never made ‘em like this before or since!


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