Happy Content shone brightly for a brief and chaotic period in the mid 80’s.
With strong rhythm, unorthodox guitar chords, burbling synthesiser and stream of consciousness "hideous" vocals,
Happy Content delivered a potent antidote to the sanitised rock, pop (and “indie”) of the 80’s.
Sometimes jokingly referred to as "African Tent" they were hated by audience, critics, reporters, and especially other
But Happy Content had little or no regard for anyone else’s opinion.
The air raid siren keyboard intro to "Sedan Chair" at the start of each gig was a warning sign of what was to come.
Audiences were polarised, those that didn't get it wrote letters of complaint, Happy Content adored the criticism
At their worst (or best) Happy Content was a cacophonous barrage of opposing forces (and personalities) and at their best,
brief periods of musical structure would emerge to delight and even surprise the live audience.
With no image, no stage presence and struggling with bad equipment Happy Content alienated audiences but for some
the attraction was too intense and a crazed “turkey strut” dance emerged amongst a small group of fans.
Early gigs were insanely brilliant, the home crowd never really got it, Happy Content faired slightly better on their
Famously at one gig the promoter said "the rest look OK but the singer looks like he works
at the newsagents down the road". Such was the visual feast at a Happy Content gig.
With the departure of Khan in mid 85 following a disastrous gig at the Paradise Rooms, Happy Content lost some of their
edge. With replacement A Walker the line up was more reliable and higher profile(!) gigs were played, notably a support
slot with The Fall in October 1985.
Pictures taken by Pete Key 9th Feb 1985.
Largely derided for “not being proper musicians” Happy Content proved a comical annoyance on the live music scene in the mid 80’s.
Inevitably Happy Content crumbled into a predictable demise deciding to split before a home gig at the Continental Club in
Check out these pages and experience some of what was Happy Content.
The Evil Teacup , Fall 2009 For Jason, Bernie, Johnny B, Ray and all other too soon departed souls.
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