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I, Ludicrous

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  • Years Active: 1980s, 1990s, 2000s


Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

Emerging from South London in 1987, the comedy duo of I, Ludicrous is one of, if not the only, bands to directly copy the Fall and still be popular with Fall fans. This probably comes from having owned up to the band upon the release of their first single (and sending Mark E. Smith a copy) -- unlike, say, the fate of Pavement. Restricting themselves with the bedroom studio set up of a drum machine, guitar, and ropey synth, the duo of Will Hung and John Proctor satirize insular British society while remaining provincial and in-jokey themselves. Their first single, "Preposterous Tales," released first as a free flexi-single in Blah Blah Blah magazine, set the tone for what was to come: a comical observation of a self-aggrandizing man regaling a pub with his exploits, backed by a drum machine and a distorted guitar. Tailor made for the humor of British college students, it became a bigger hit when played on John Peel's radio show on the BBC (also a champion of the Fall) and made that year's Top 50. An album on Kaleidoscope Sound, It's Like Everything Else, followed, and the debt to the Fall became apparent. Hung's limited vocals and delivery are a Londoner version of Mark E. Smith's, while the music restricts itself to repetitive riffs. Yet their self-deprecating humor and limited scope never really threatened their idols. A follow-up was in the works in 1988 when Kaleidoscope Sound folded and took the master tapes with them. A Warning to the Curious continued the mockery in 1989, taking aim, albeit easy, at yuppies and television personalities. It also marked their beginning relationship with Rodney Rodney! records. Light and Bitter followed a year later, then another label switch to Old King Lud for 1992's Idiot Savants. Light and Bitter salvaged some of the songs from the lost 1988 LP, and was like cleaning house. Idiot Savants was more accomplished, with better production and arrangements, and a lighter tone. In between times, they occasionally supported the Fall on tour in Britain and kept a low profile, releasing a few EPs. An album has been threatened since 1998, along with the eventual release of the lost LP, but nothing has yet surfaced.