I first heard The Redskins’ ‘Bring It Down (This Insane Thing)’ circa 1985 on ‘The Max Headroom Show’ and was seriously impressed.
Listening back more than 35 years on, there are shades of early ’80s punk/funk: Gang Of Four, 23 Skidoo, A Certain Ratio, plus a bit of Dexys/Jo Boxers, courtesy of the spicey horn arrangements.
The lyrics seem fairly revelant in a post-Grenfell world and feature somewhat of a classic opening line, parodying Prime Minister Harold Macmillan’s famous 1957 speech: ‘You’ve never had it so good/The favourite phrase of those who’ve always had it better…’
The band are a solid, funky little unit and I like singer Chris Dean’s chuckling Melle Mel homage and general swagger – it’s a classic ’80s vocal performance. His Afro-beat-flavoured rhythm guitar playing is pretty good too.
Their Wikipedia entry claims that The Style Council’s Steve White plays drums on this but it doesn’t particularly sound like him. The Redskins burned fairly brightly for four years, starting out as an NME-approved indie act and then graduating to a major-label deal in the classic ’80s style.
They split up after their Anti-Apartheid tour of 1986. ‘Bring It Down’ was their one and only UK top 40 single – a fairly poor return when such blue-eyed-soul inanities like The Blow Monkeys’ ‘It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way’ were just around the corner.
Where are they now? Who knows? No reunion. No sell-out. One near-hit.