New Boots and Panties – the Ian Dury connection

cover art

“Also, it takes much longer to get up North, the slow way…”

The name of this blog is drawn, as those of you with an interest in popular music will know, from the classic 1977 album New Boots and Panties from the late Ian Dury (later to form the Blockheads around him on subsequent albums). The album fused funk, rock’n’roll and music hall styles with flashes of disco and pub rock to produce a typically English sound. I had a cassette copy of it from a friend at school and, though only 12, I knew it was something I shouldn’t be playing when my parents were listening, with its tales of early-morning sexual encounters, promiscuity and that opening line to ‘Plaistow Patricia’.

The compelling album cover art featured Dury standing outside Axford’s underwear and lingerie shop at 306 Vauxhall Bridge Road, Westminster back in ’77. This was an important link to the album title, which referred to the only items of clothing which Dury thought should always be bought new rather than second-hand. A slice of the artwork features as our own cover art on this blog.

In true Dury style, the punning title of our poetry project arose from a conversation between W N Herbert and Andy Ching on Facebook in the week after the election; I hope he approves of it, wherever he may be.


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