Here we are in 2012 and eventually, after god only knows how long, we finally the debut Cravats album on CD. Nigh on impossible to find when released it’s a mystery why this essential document has taken so long to appear again, but it’s been well worth the wait because on this double CD set we have:
a) 1980s ‘In Toytown’ album fully remastered and sounding great
b) All the bonus Small Wonder singles which is a further impressive 11 tracks
c) An extra album of a journey through ‘In Toytown’ as imagined by Penny Rimbaud from Crass
Anyway, onto The Cravats, if you don’t know who they are then you should. Formed in Redditch in 1977 after witnessing a Stranglers gig, the band were no punk clones, their line-up included a saxophonist, an enigmatic frontman known only as The Shend and their lyrics Dada-ist influences, all of which made them unsurprisingly bonkers and somewhere to the left of Punishment of Luxury, The Fall, Swell Maps and Captain Beefheart. No surprise that John peel loved them. They were probably the first post-punk band before there was anything called post-punk.
This album is a gem, let’s hope their other album ‘Colossal Tunes Out’ gets similar treatment soon. 8/10
The Cravats have reformed and play occasional live shows. Go see them.