Undercover: Live in China – The Boys

Mott Rating


Posted 16th December 2017 by

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For sheer unadulterated Rock’n’Roll excitement, you need look no further than this album. Pure burning magic.

The story of ‘The Boys’ would make a wonderful film, nobody would believe it, even though every drop and bizarre incident is true.

The Boys

The Boys

The Boys were formed in 1976 in London England after Matt Dangerfield and Casino Steel left The London SS. They quickly found the talents of singer/guitarist John Plain (soon to be internationally known as Honest John Plain). When no Bass Player or Drummer were forthcoming, Jack Black and Kid Reid, who had previously been employed in the same printing shop where John Plain had been earning a crust before being befriended by Casino and Matt, were brought in on Drums and Bass respectively.

1976 was the year that Punk Rock really broke out in England and The Boys were in the right place at the right time. The only real trouble with this was that The Boys were not really Punk Rock. If you had to put them in a category it would be Power Pop. Yes, they played aggressively with fire and passion, but unlike many of the Punk Bands of the day they could all play their respective instruments. They had three people who could sing lead vocals – Steel, Dangerfield and Plain, and three people that could write very catchy pop songs, the same three. Anyway there were not many Punk Bands with keyboards.

Honest John Plain

Honest John Plain

The first album came out in 1977 self titled, the second Alternative Chartbusters, 1978, To Hell with the Boys in 1979 and finally, Boys Only 1981 (in 1979 there was also a hilarious Christmas album released by the Yobs, see what they have done swapped the Y and the B around, there were later three more Christmas albums). Each one was a fine album and sold moderately well, but nothing earth shattering which is strange, as they still all hold up very well today. Live concerts followed the same story – going down a storm every night but the venues never got any busier. Punk Rock/Power Pop petered out of fashion and so did the Boys, sadly breaking up in 1982.

Then in 1999 Four of the original five decided to give it another go, playing festivals and special events. Taking their time (well they did have other things to do) the Boys trundled along. In 2006 The Boys actually performed a whole tour playing their first dates in London for twenty five years. Then in 2014 Casino Steel, Honest John Plain and Matt Dangerfield, with the new Rhythm Section of Kent Norberg and Martin H-Son went into the studio to record their comeback album, Punk Rock Menopause. The album was met with great critical acclaim and more gigs were lined up.

The Brilliant idea of doing a nine date tour of China was put forward and with visions of glory and fame looming through the welcome publicity this would bring, off they set to be greeted at Shanghai Airport by officials telling them the whole tour had been cancelled due to Crowd Control and Security Issues! The Band were then escorted by Shanghai Punk Rock Band Round Eye on a cultural tour of China. Three top secret gigs were set up in basements and with only word of mouth to promote them, the gigs went ahead. Thankfully somebody set up a recording studio at one gig and got the perfect recording of The Boys in full flight, smashing their way through a forty five minute set before being whisked away.

Old and New Songs are played and all fit in together seamlessly. You can hear the young Chinese Punks going a little crazy actually seeing their idols perform in the flesh.

A worthy monument to a great story.

Mott the Dog with Casino Steel (left) and Honest John Plain (right) at Jameson’s

The Boys:
Casino Steel – Keyboards and Vocals
Honest John Plain – Guitar and Vocals
Matt Dangerfield – Guitar and Vocals
Kent Norberg – Bass Guitar
Martin H-Son – Drums

Terminal Love
I’m a Believer
You Can’t Hurt a Memory
Punk Rock Girl
Global warming
I Don’t Care
Brickfield Nights
First Time
Living In The City
Sick On You

Written by Mott The Dog and Hells Bells. Mott can often be found in his kennel at Jameson’s on Soi A.R, North Pattaya.

Mott the Dog



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