The Softies were a band fronted by Mark Bennett from Corporal Punishment. It also featured Hannepoort van Tonder who had been in the Gerformeerde Blues Band and would work with The Radio Rats. With these two included in the line up one would expect a far more punky sound akin to their other bands than what ‘Mission To Cairo’ actually brings us.
And looking at the track’s title, one might perhaps expect something with a more Arabic sound. But what you get is something akin to The Dynamics with much more of a ska sound than punk. But is is also not pure ska because the beat is not quite right for it to be, rather it is the brass sounds that warms the track that give it this sort of feel. So, what are we left with?
Well its kind of poppy, slightly ska-ish, a little bit punky, somewhat afro-pop and totally enjoyable. If you want to classify it by its sound, perhaps best to sit it next to your Aeroplanes tracks as it is catchy, but not mainstream. In a piece I found on the band, they talk about trying to make clever pop. They were influenced by the smarter UK pop bands of the 80’s such as ABC, Dexy’s Midnight Runners and Haircut 100 and these influences show through, but don’t dominate as Bennett drags some of his Corporals’ experience with him into the track.
‘Mission To Cairo’ was a single the band released in 1984 and they followed it up with the album ‘An Evening With The Softies’ and that was it for this polished and thoughtful pop band, which was a pity as they should have (and could have) done so much more.
Where to find it: