Pork Dukes: All The Filth
This album is the soundtrack to Porky’s frolics in the mud.
The world needs more filth and the Pork Dukes gave it plenty in 1976 when they formed in the quaint, conservative town of Witham in Essex, England. These lads were the dirtiest, filthiest, naughtiest boys in a world exploding in the rhythms of punk, a music that wasn’t backwards in coming forwards.
Their first single, Bend and Flush, released in 1977, was a moderate success, apparently selling about 20,000 copies, but it was the b-side, Throbbing Gristle, (nothing to do with avant-garde band of the same name) that signalled what kind of base-instinct animal was emerging here, a tale of a young man who fantasises about having sex with the then Opposition leader Margaret Thatcher.
If that wasn’t tasteless enough, the cover had an image of a pig, well look for yourself. Oink oink indeed.
Third single, Telephone Masturbator, took their sordid thoughts even further. “I’m a telephone masturbator, I’m coming faster and my hands are sore, screaming screaming baby and I’ll come some more, I jack ….” and on and on it goes.
Some of the tales Bonk, the band’s drummer, tells on the sleeve notes of All The Filth, are up with the greatest from the punk era: how suave 70s Middle Eastern actor Omar Sharif came along to a gig thinking it was a jazz gig, how they had a pig’s head on stage with a safety pin though it’s nose and how it was left in a suitcase to ‘mature’ for a few weeks, and how the array of banned venues and cancelled gigs almost equalled the Sex Pistols tale of banishment, leaving them to play in mental homes. How appropriate.
The titles say as much as you need to know: Dirty Boys – You Dirty Cunts, Tight Pussy, I Like your Big Tits – Let’s See if It Fits, Banana Man and I Wanna Fuck, the purile, almost schoolboy-esque depravity of their writing would require a psychoanalyst to examine.
Truth is just a little simpler. Bonk says he was a youth looking to “offend any tosser I could.”
They certainly did that. One fan wearing a typically outre Pork Dukes T-shirt was arrested and charged over an article that was likely to cause a breach of the peace.
In 1994, they reformed and at one gig had a raffle with the prize of a blow-job from a prostitute. Nevertheless, there’s nothing more unsightly than middle-aged men talking in such purile fashion but The Pork Dukes continue to pop up every now and again at some toilet in the UK.
Despite the laddish, lewdness of their recorded output and live antics, the songs are surprisingly good and, perhaps with the disadvantage of hindsight, it could be argued that success might have their way had they dropped some of the more outlandish statements. But, with dozens, if not hundreds of bands forming at the same time, or rubbish bands suddenly discovering their punk side, there was intense competition, and the muted success of the Pork Dukes, or infamy rather, owes itself to their humour, which wasn’t so much toilet humour, as what’s dredged from the toilet/ cesspit at a music festival after three days.
Telephone Masturbator is extremely catchy and hummable and, surprisingly, despite it’s lascivious nature, I Like Your Big Tits – Let’s See If It Fits, from the Pink Pork album, is an equal to many of the play-this-guitar-fast tunes of the time.
Here’s to the Pork Dukes, disgusting, depraved and deliciously good all in one.