If, way back in 1995, you had heard about The Springbok Nude Girls, but had never heard their music and, feeling lucky, you went out and bought their debut album, ‘Neanderthal 1’, then ‘Bubblegum On My Boots’ would have been the first SNG song that you heard as it opens the album. And it’s not a bad introduction to the band, although you may have been a little fooled at first by the rather melodic and mellow intro with its coolly plucked guitar while somewhere in the distance a muted trumpet calls out to you.
Then along comes Arno Carstens vocals and you begin to wonder. There is something a little sinister about them, something a little otherworldy. But before you have had much chance to get unsettled, the Neanderthal is let loose, introduced by a ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’-ish guitar snippet before the primal thumping beat assaults you and Arno whoops and shrieks like and man out with his club, trying to bash himself some dinner.
There is something chaotic and yet controlled about this song as it swings between the quieter, warm moments and the grungy thrash out. Having heard this, you were either seduced by these Nude Girls or you hated them. Or it even may have left you feeling a bit confused. However, those who were seduced were numerous and this track kick started one of the biggest stories in South African music in the nineties. When it came to making interesting and invigorating rock, Arno and the boys certainly knew what they were doing and with ‘Bubblegum On My Boots’ they really gave it some stick.
Where to find it:
Neaderthal 1 – Springbok Nude Girls, Bluegum Records (1995), CDSNG1