RockItt Biography - part 1: A meeting at the Blue Nun
Exclusively for online fans of RockItt, we are reproducing excerpts
from the soon to be published unauthorised biography about the Shag Fury/Wayne
Kranium songwriting partnership... 'Genius or Penis' by Pam Cacophone.
The Cornish city of
Wayne Kranium had a strong musical pedigree having formed his first band, Surgical Stockings, shortly after leaving school. Working at his father’s stocking filler factory, Wayne had become fascinated with stockings and tights. His obsession with hosiery combined with his innovative and flamboyant bass playing style had created the ‘Music and Tights’ concept and Surgical Stockings’ popularity grew. Kranium was sure that a record deal was within reach when lead singer Lee John dealt him a hammer-blow. John left to form hit eighties band Imagination but Kranium was not invited to the party and had to watch the success enjoyed by Imagination from afar. Devastated and disillusioned Kranium decided to turn his back on the music industry. He went to his local polytechnic; armoury was the first course on the list so Wayne enrolled.
In 1986 Shag Fury was an up-and-coming celebrity chef with a lucrative slot
on the Richard and Judy Show. Unfortunately one of his signature
Moroccan barbeque dishes went tragically wrong. Millions of Britons who
followed his recipe for pork marinated in cockle and muscle sauce fell seriously
ill as the
His culinary career in tatters, Fury moved to Truro to lie low and consider his future career prospects. A keen environmentalist, Shag signed on for a course in marine biology at Truro Polytechnic under the assumed name of Skipper McFlange and took a part-time job helping out at the local whelk sanctuary where he helped to raise awareness of the plight of marine gastropods. However, a fellow worker at the sanctuary recognised Shag and, because of the damage that the Richard and Judy debacle had caused to the reputation of the whelk, he was dismissed.
A classically trained pianist, Shag got an evening job three nights a week in
local wine bar The Blue Nun playing jazz piano versions of German polka
At the same time Wayne Kranium was close to finishing the final year of his
degree in armoury. After a hard day welding breastplates he decided to pop
into The Blue Nun for a chilled glass of his favoured 1982 Urziger Wurzgarten
Riesling Spatlese. Shag Fury had followed Wayne’s ‘Music and Tights’
innovation closely and instantly recognised Kranium from his days in Surgical
Stockings. The two hit it off immediately and, once they'd finished
hitting it, spent the evening talking about music. The night was only
spoiled by a dreadful gaffe when Shag ordered a bottle of Niersteiner Olberg
Eiswein dessert wine by mistake. The episode provided the inspiration for
the title of RockItt’s second album Nun Faux Pas.
There has been much academic analysis of, and speculation about, the Fury/Kranium
song writing formula. Professor Areolae Bump, Chair of Musical Technology
Of course their first attempts at song writing were difficult but after a few
weeks the duo began to click. They decided to showcase their new songs and
under the name Milky Slipper used Shag’s connections to secure a
week-long residency playing seven consecutive nights at The Blue Nun. "It's
a shame that they didn't last the whole week really", said local baker
Trudy 'Baps' McGee (no relation to Debbie). She laughed: "I wasn't
there on the first night, but I heard several people were physically sick during
one particular song".
Bootleg copies from those early gig's rarely surface and when they do sell for
exorbitant prices on Internet auction cites.
By the second night, word had spread about the raw sex and evocative lyrics
that characterised Milky Slipper. The local press were there, as
was a curious crowd eager to experience the new sound firsthand and to make up
their own minds about the band. The owner of The Blue Nun was also yet to
make his mind up and, with a stroke of genius, had the forethought to install
chicken wire in front of the stage. Unfortunately his stroke of genius was
followed by a full-on cerebrovascular stroke brought on by the stress of the
crowd’s reaction Milky Slipper’s set. Two tracks, 'Flap Dangle'
and 'Visible Solids' were already dusted with a coating of Fury/Kranium musical
magic and showed the direction they were to follow. Others such as
Kranium's solo penned effort 'Mind the Gap' - a tribute to London's Underground
system - and the duos 'The Screams of Silence in H Minor', written in a
previously undiscovered key and with never before used chords, are best
It's amazing that the third evening’s gig happened at all. The
combination of throbbing music and risqué - at times verging on pornographic -
delivery meant that press had had a field day and The Truro Enquirer
incited an almost religious clamour of indignation amongst its readers and civil
groups. Truro’s infamous radical faction of the Women's Institute,
buoyed by a successful beachside rumble with the local Hell's Angels Chapter,
got involved and that's when the trouble really started.
The picketing of The Blue Nun started at midday and traffic was brought to a
standstill shortly afterwards. By 2pm that afternoon the police started
cordoning off the street. No one knows how
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