The Nipple Erectors and then (presumably under record company pressure and delusions of respectability) the Nips, were Shane MacGowan's first group, and this is a cracking little collection of ultra-rare cuts which initially appeared as singles and lp tracks way back in the late 70's.
It's a colourful, angry, Stonesy sound with irresistibly twangy rockabilly guitar, and it'll come as a surprise to those familiar with MacGowan's slurry (and VASTLY over-rated!) later work, to hear him here, alert and alive, coming on like a junior Adam Faith with clarity and direction.
As was de rigeur at the time, this is a caveman music, bold and true, and some of MacGowan's lyrics are sure to raise an eyebrow in these killjoy PC times:
"Just shut up and lay on the bed,
When I'm finished with you I'm gonna break his head.."
Long-lost singles 'Gabrielle' and 'All the Time in the World' are high-points, but there's a rough and tuneful quality to most of 'Bops, Babes, Booze and Bovver'.
It's a bit short, but makes up for that with consistency and passion, and there's a brill picture of the band in Teddy-boy gear (just on their way to slash some cinema seats no doubt, and Gordon in the Government thinks knife crime is a new thing..); MacGowan looking not a day over 12, but still sewer-fungus ugly, is worth the (ridiculously cheap) price alone.
Looking at the seconds-from-death-shambles he is now, it's nice to see him bouncy and agile, launching himself and his crazy harmonica into this ultra-cool and pumped-up selection.
As yer man says (without the merest hint of an Irish accent..!):
"Just lie back and think of England,
Gonna put my hands on you.."
You can treat his brilliantly cavalier cd in the same disrespectful fashion.