What Fun!

The Reggea and ska revival was not just a British movement, in holland too a lot of reggea and ska influences started creeping up in Dutch language pop music as the punk movement with its d.i.y. ethos led to an explosion of new and interesting groups, most noticably Doe Maar, a band that at its peak was as popular in the Netherlands as the Beatles had been in Britain in the sixties. It was the music I grew with in the early eighties and which still influences a lot of what I listen to today But of course since most of that took place in a language few people outside of Holland and Belgium speak, so most of it remained world famous in Holland only.

But every now and again there were glimpses of bigger things. What Fun! was a mixed race band from Haarlem (and hence banned from being played in South Africa), with a sound that wasn’t all that far removed from proper 2-Tone who had their one and only real hit in 1983 with the catchy tune above, “the Right Side One”. Doing well over here, it started getting some real airplay on the BBC as well, until somebody finally noticed, hey, this might just be a song about the Falklands War and yanked it from the playlists…

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