Release Date: Apr 95
Chart Position: 15
Firstly, huge apologies for the 5 week gap since the last review. the death of Keith De Vivre hit us pretty bad here at Casa del Neggae, and it’s only now we’re out the other side that I realise how black things were.
Norm literally cocooned himself in his egg over Christmas, only coming out to baste his naked body in Kenny Rogers Roastin’ Syrup. Gouldy wandered from Woking pub to Woking pub, sidling up to 19-year-olds, drunkenly trying to persuade them that CJ Lewis is the natural forefather to Disclosure and Rudimental. And Jonny, well Jonny seriously thought about ending it all. He went to his local chemist, and typically loyal to his P&G overlords, intended to do himself in with some Gillette Pro-Fusion Glide razorblades. Unfortunately he didn’t have the requisite £12 on him to purchase said product. For the first time ever I think we’re all happy that Gilette are the pharmaceutical equivalent of a back street loan shark.
As for me, well I toyed with the idea of going to a four-piece a la the Stones for a few weeks in 74.
It just seemed wrong though – too symmetrical for the shambolic beast that the Neggae blog has become. So, like Mick did with Ronnie Woods, and the Jacksons did with Randie, I went in search of our fifth member.
We signed a promising young Jewish drummer who wanted to explore his suspected Jamaican roots on his mother’s side – only for him to resign before commiting his first emoticon to screen. He shall forever be known as the Lady Jane Grey of Neggae.
Then last week we hit the jackpot – longtime Neggae sage and comment King James BC has taken up the mantle of seeing the good ship Neg home through the final 28 songs. Welcome aboard James.
So, on to the song itself, and you’ll be glad to know that after that catharsis this will be short and sweet.
I bloody love Bubblin’ Hot. It’s an example of all that was good about Neggae and 90s pop in general. Like much of the best reggae, it is choc full of samples and interpolations that are derivative yet inventive. I spotted:
- Bugle Intro = The Pioneers // Long Shot Kick De Bucket
- Spoken toast Introduction = Dave & Ansell Collins // Double Barrel
- Plinky-plonky piano triplets = Madness // The Prince
- B-Line riddim = Nora dean // Barb Wire
All of this stirred and mixed to perfection with a sprinkling of Digitized beats and bass – just like the soup inna pot in fact. The sung melody is easy and infectious, and the return of the two-tone hero that is The Beat’s Ranking Roger can only be applauded.
The video is a fantastic global-hypercolour, psychedelic romp – imagining our two Neggae bards stuck in dead-end catering jobs waiting for the record comapny men to come and whisk them away to stardom. Which they do. I imagine somewhere in a Jerk Hut kitchen Levi Roots saw this and thought, “that’s exactly what I’m going to do. In about 15 years time.” Note too the clever juxtaposition of black and white check – preferred stupid trousers of kitchen staff and also favoured styling of two-tone rudebwois.
Also, I can’t help but notice similarities in tone and style between this video and the vastly inferior Country House by Blur and Damien Hurst five months later. Of course, due to their Art-school heritage, Team Hirst were garlanded with using the comic-book look and feel of the 60s and sevs, while our Neggae boys were overlooked. Scorned even. It reminds me of what my Dad used to say whenever Matt Le Tissier did something amazing yet blasé – “If a Brazilian had done that we’d all be ravin’ about it for months.”
Score: For seeing me through the toughest wobble this blog has known, a life-affirming 9.
Hello, I’m James and this is my first neggae review. My main qualification for getting recruited seems to be enthusiasm so I’ll do my best to carry on the good work all the others have put in so far. Fortunately I remember this particular song from the first time round, and even owned it, so I have a bit to say.
I first heard Bubbling Hot on the Chart Show, which did a nice line in previews by neggae second-stringers like Saint and Campbell and Junior Reid. I liked it so much that I rushed out and bought Pato’s album Collections on tape from WH Smith in Birkenhead. Maybe this was a common response – it would be one explanation for the single’s underwhelming performance (only number 15).
Weirdly for a relative newcomer to the charts, Pato’s album turned out to be a best-of, the sleevenotes claiming that he had been around since the early 80s. I’m still not sure whether that was an elaborate hoax – credits such as drummer David “Skins” Forskins are suspicious – but either way, it neatly filled out Pato’s character as the fun-loving but vaguely problematic uncle of neggae. There is:
- a song where Pato does a Tom Lehrer-inspired rap with all 50 states of the USA in it, plus Puerto Rico.
- an eight-minute political opus with the ominous title “Pato’s Opinion, Part Two” where at one point he promises to “fight against sodomites” (sadly not a single so no video dramatising this was produced)
- an anti-drugs anthem “Don’t Sniff Coke” which must have warned dozens of young neggae fans off the evil white powder, recommending sensi as a healthy alternative assuming your girlfriend hasn’t run off with it.
In other words it was money well spent.
Bubbling Hot makes it three co-credits in three singles for Pato – commonplace today of course, but new enough in 1995 for someone to write an angry letter to Channel 4 Teletext about how Pato was piggybacking his way to success on the reputations of other people. That might have been a fair point when the collaborators were Sting or The Great Ali Campbell, but in this instance it’s more like Pato is doing Ranking Roger a favour, or trying to. A member of The Beat in the Two Tone era, Roger clearly jumped at the chance to become a 90s neggae also-ran as well as an 80s ska also-ran, so here he is, bubbling hot just like a soup in a pot.
Coming back to the song now, it’s actually better than I remembered. The groove is bouncy and cheerful, with piano, organ and horns blending together to make a pleasant fusion of neggae and old-fashioned ska. Where it falls down is the lyric, as it’s not really about anything – it’s basically a showcase for the toasting skills of Pato and Roger. I’d suggest that this may have been a mistake: if the 482 seconds of confused religious musings on Pato’s Opinion were a bit much, this goes too far in the other direction and the lack of any actual content leaves the vocals a bit exposed. Pato is not exactly CJ Lewis in the rapping stakes: once on Live and Kicking he tried to give an exhibition of rhyming virtuosity which collapsed when the best he could come up with for ‘polo mints’ was ‘wooden stilts’. I never saw Andi Peters so dismayed at the way a segment was unfolding.
Roger may be a sort-of legend who helped fill up side 2 of many respectable ska compilations but his style seems a tad off the pace when competing for the neggae pound against Shabba, Apache Indian and the rest of the new generation. Even his name dates him: he clearly chose it between 4th and 11th February 1978 when Althea and Donna were at number 1, erroneously thinking that ‘Ranking’ was going to be the in-word for the next ten years.
In brief, then, this is pretty enjoyable stuff but not going to set your world on fire. The soup metaphor is OK but also a little close to novelty when combined with the jolly groove. One extra point for the dance-along-a-lobster bit in the video – they don’t make ’em like that any more.
Score: 6 out of 10 but I’m new to this and I might be being over-generous.
(The whole ‘5th Neggae writer transfer debacle’ caused such a delay to this article that Gouldy’s typically zeitgeistesque Xmas gags make no f*cking sense whatsoever on 6th January. Apologies for losing the dressing room, won’t happen again – Vince.)
It’s yet another entry for everyone’s favourite Neggaeist from the Emerald Isle, Paddy O’Banton who’s joined by Ska stalwart, Ranking Roger of ‘The Beat’ fame. The track starts with a Bontempi version of the clarion call ‘Assemble the buglers’, which is very apt at this festive time of year and can be heard at many an office Christmas party in various guises. In fact as its Christmas I’m going to get everyone in a mood of festive jollity and intersperse my review with cracker style jokes (the kind you pull at Christmas rather than racists from the deep south).
Q – What does Miley Cyrus eat on Christmas Day?
A – Twerky
Paddy and Roger have a little, and very respectful I might add, introduction for each other then the neg skank kicks in. Lyrically the song is a paen to world peace by using the example of their unity producing bubbling hot (like soup in a pot) neg sounds and they don’t discriminate who they’ll rock either, the rich, the poor even the middle classes, they really don’t discriminate. One can only ponder how different the Korean situation would be if these two had been sent over to do a concert on the North/South border. I know what you’re thinking ‘this is a thoughtful and incisive reading of the current political situation Gouldy, but its Christmas mon, where’s the fun?’
Q – What does the Queen call her Christmas Broadcast?
A – The One Show
Production wise there’s so much to like in this, Piano, Hammond, Horn section, Sax and police siren, coincidentally the last three were also the exact order of events at Michael Barrymore’s infamous pool party. This combination makes for a bubbling hot neggae soup of joy which just can’t help have you bogling round the Christmas Tree. Stick this on and you’re guaranteed an irie Yule time like all the best Carols it’s full of joy, hope and love (not you Vorderman, pedaling payday loans you shameless harridan).
Q – How do you know if Wayne Rooney’s Santa’s been in your garden shed?
A – You’ve got three extra hoes.
The video starts with Paddy and Roger working in a kitchen for Tony Dorigo and it’s clear the working relationship is under some considerable strain. The two heroes are left in charge of a vat of suspiciously green soup and as events unfold it becomes apparent what’s caused that colouring as it starts to resemble the time Jonny Atkins OD’d on Mince Pies and started hallucinating. First a Lobster starts dancing to the delight of Pat and Rodge then in a potassium based nightmare beyond the wildest dreams of Warhol and the Velvet Underground as a banana expands to an extraordinary size and starts chasing our hapless heroes round the kitchen. The soup also seems to contain soothsaying qualities as well which allow Pato to see a future in the recording industry which culminates with a gold record, I’m beginning to suspect they were following the Ken Kesey soup recipe as shit is going off the scale, there’s not been a kitchen this crazy since Spatz closed down. The video culminates with Tony Dorigo telling off a clearly mashed Pat and Rodge who are saved from the worst of the bollocking by a couple of AOR dudes turning up with a record contract.
Score: It’s not quite scotch bonnet broth but it’s still got a kick – 8/10
It’s been another whirlwind few weeks at Neg Towers with a resignation and the appointment of a new elder. With Jamie’s extended paternity leave continuing to cause admin issues due to a lack of the appropriate forms being completed and correctly filed and now the resignation of Keith with his ludicrous pension pay out, Neg Towers Corp’s cash flow is in big trouble. My expenses for 2 Capri Suns and a dreadlock wig are now 2 months outstanding! Who’s accountable I hear you ask? Nobody apparently! Bullshit! That’s what it is! The scams that these guys have pulled will be talked about in a similar vein as the Expenses scandal and the Vegas skim! I just hope Franks has got stronger morals that the other guys.
Anyway I am not part of this gruelling and seemingly endless pantomime for the money. I’m in it for the love if Neg and my weakness to deal with any sort of peer pressure.
I was looking forward to this review having only fond memories of this track and had eyeballed it as another Neg Blockbuster. But on reflection I can only admit to being 70% sure about it. It is well up the Jokey Neg end of the scale and for that I think it loses marks purely because I considered it a proper Neg track and I feel a little let down. I feel slightly similar to the day (in the mid 90’s I believe) I read the Radio Times and whooped for joy that Teen Wolf was on TV that evening, only to have it described by them as “Fun for all the family in this likeable comedy”. What!! Teen Wolf isn’t a comedy I thought! it’s a drama tackling some serious teen issues about what life was like as a teenager that I felt I could relate to (the only differences between me and Scott Howard were that instead of 2 pretty girlfriends I had none, instead of being good at basketball I was average at golf and instead of having a fat guy that people mocked on the team, I was that guy! But apart from that we were similar). After watching it for the hundredth time and on reflection after the film I thought to myself….maybe it was a comedy? Maybe it’s not that believable? Maybe I don’t believe in anything anymore?
Anyway that’s the way I also felt after remembering this as a real game changer of a track, only to turn it on for the first time in years to see Pato Banton and Ranking Roger dressed up like something from Wily Wonka in joke kitchen! I felt empty and cheated, like a fool…
Score: 7/10 – the tracks still OK, just a little disappointed that’s all.
Pato Banton and Ranking Roger are an interesting pair. Honestly I have no recollection of this bad boy.
I love the introduction “Just like a soup in a pot, we are what? Bubbling hot” Now that’s the way to get started. What could go wrong? Dressed in chefs whites, these two berks are prancing around the kitchen rehashing the bubbling and hot in one way or another for the next couple of minutes. The highlight of this video was them mucking around with the dancing crab.
There is little else to say about this one. It’s not his worst, not his best, it just feels like this is Pato being Pato, churning out some slightly above average tunes.
It contains the typical Pato offerings. Good vocals, solid instrumentals, amusing video but no real depth or meaning to his lyrics. If there is any cryptic message in this one, it has gone right over my head.
Score: A fair effort, nothing else. C’mon Pato step your game up! 5/10.
NEGGAE SCORE: 7