Buster Shuffle for a short tour to the Netherlands28-11-2019
We were going to say that Buster Shuffle were as east London as jellied eels and pie'n'mash, until a passing estate agent reminded us that the area in question was gentrified about 20 years ago and that actually foie gras and filet de boeuf Bordelaise are more likely to be on the menu these days. In fact, Buster Shuffle bring to mind an east London that probably hasn't existed for decades, if it ever really did, a semi-mythical gloomy environ packed with smoky boozers full of chirpy cockneys wearing cloth caps, braces and corblimey trousers, talking in rhyming slang while simultaneously eating the aforementioned fishy delicacy and doing the Lambeth Walk.
Buster Shuffle, four self-styled loveable rogues, are no more faithful a depiction of the real present-day East End than Eastenders, but if you don't mind that, you'll enjoy their knees-up bar-room ska-pop and piano boogie. If you do, you'll weep at the absurdity of it all. They sound like the Libertines playing Chas & Dave. You can see what they're aiming at here, and it's a great idea: to make the sort of high-energy, super-melodic, almost indecently hummable ska-tinged pop that Madness used to excel at, to create a soundtrack for a dream version of London where it's non-stop Baggy Trousers or Lazy Sunday by the Small Faces on the jukebox. Whether or not Buster Shuffle are really posh middle-class mockneys slumming it and they're doing a Parklife (funnily enough, Damon Alban requested them for his Monkey Journey to the West production's wrap party) or they're actually backstreet urchins who grew up on a diet of Bad Manners and they're trying to capture their latchkey adolescences, is moot.