At one point it came up for sale and I bought it, but it got lost in the mail. I accepted that this is just one of those things that I'm never going to hear.
But then it happened. Another copy came up and I snatched it immediately. The seller was curious why somebody was interested in a small local band from so long ago. He didn't realize how relevant this EP is to the international ska community. It has quite the reputation for something that nobody had ever heard. There was one music video that nobody has seen. None of these songs appeared on a compilation. So why the buzz?
As it turns out the person selling the CD was JC Dyborn - Sir Lord Erotic himself - and he was kind enough to answer some questions to tell the true story of a band that everybody knows but nobody knows:
SirLord Erotic :
Pelle Ossler : Guitar, Backing vocals
Thomas Holst : Bass
Ole-Herman Finholt : Guitar, Trumpet
Mats Bengtsson : Organ, Saxophone
Stefan Nilsson aka Kiddie Manzini : Drums
J-C Dyborn : Vocals
Joachim Leksell : Backing vocals
Guest on the CD and later replacing Joachim Leksell : Magnus Börjesson aka Miss Mango : Backing vocals
Live guest stars :
Peps Persson : Guitar , Vocals, Percussion
Bosse Skoglund : Drums and percussion
"I started a band in 1987 called Amazonas
The second album was all over the place and I am not ashamed of it but not very proud either.
In Helsingborg there was a tradition to go out and drink the Christmas away every Christmas Day (in Sweden Christmas eve is the big family day) and Amazonas had really cashed in on those Christmas Day shows for many years so when the band was no more, a club owner in Helsingborg asked Pelle if he could put something fun together for the coming Christmas Day. By then Ole-Herman spent so much time in my house, very close to Pelles, just listening to old reggae cds, at full blast. Especially the two double Trojan story cds. And a brilliant The Melodians compilation among others. Pelle had this idea that we should start a ska/reggae band by just making me the singer instead of the drummer as I was in Amazonas. Then he brought in Thomas and Mats from Wilmer X (Mats had been in Amazonas as well for some time) and drummer Kiddie from loads of bands in southern Sweden. Best known over here; The Sinners.
We took the name from Sir Lord Comic on one of those Trojan story CDs. Ole-Herman thought, thanks buddy, that I was the least erotic person in the world and I bought that so Sir Lord Erotic it was.
We debuted in Dec 1992 and made bigger or smaller tours around Christmas time that people thought we were just a Christmas band. Truth is we played a lot of shows all year round when the band members were not occupied with other bands. We did that up until 1999.
In the spring of 1999 Sir Lord Erotic toured with a show package with Swedish reggae super star Peps Persson who also produced the No No Lola EP. It may sound strange to someone outside Sweden but Peps turned from acclaimed blues singer to reggae dito in 1974 or so. Singing in Swedish!! Very bold if you ask me. He looked, and still looks, like a real hippie with long hair and beard but I don´t think there is one artist in Sweden that people respect more. Integrity is not a strong enough word. He is definitely the reason our cd sounds so good.
Back to spring 1999. We were booked on a nationwide tour of Sweden , playing relatively big clubs. All thanks to Peps. The set up was to switch between our covers and Peps´well known own songs and it all went very well. Still, after that tour I got a feeling that we had reached the end of the line. Like, where can we go from here??
So, 1999 was the last year we played together.
The No no Lola EP is the only thing we ever recorded. I have a VHS tape of one of those Christmas Day show. 1997 I think, filmed with a very static simple camera but today I am glad I have at least some live evidence.
We also made a music video for the song No no Lola. Professionally filmed in a TV studio we borrowed in Malmö Sweden. Unfortunately I can´t find it. The tape, not Malmö. I know it is down in the basement somewhere.
I think. Still the tape , NOT Malmö. Ha ha!"
I asked him about their style, not musical style, but how they dressed. If you see the pictures on the CD they have a really cool style
Well, the suit idea didn´t come from two-tone believe it or not. By then, none of us were fans of Specials and Madness. I saw Selecter live 1980 but that was more of a coincident on a festival in Finland. Today I regard Specials 1st album as a milestone and Madness being a fantastic pop band. The suits came from Amazonas where we all wore black suits, more in an Italian mob/godfather style. I can´t remember the train of thoughts when it came to my African caftan but in the early days our shows had a comedy touch that we toned down as we went along. I was actually beating up Joachim on stage, acting like a colonial master with my hired gun musicians. Inspiration from Prince Buster´s Judge Dread character and Scotty in Skank in bed where he tells the musicians to leave the studio for not being good enough musicians. I am very tall (and wide) , 7 ft or so, so the effect of me being an asshole to especially Joachim who was working his ass off on stage dancing and singing and being much smaller, was pure comedy show we thought. Like I said, we toned that part down and focused more on the music, as you should since all the guys in the band were really good musicians. In fact I listened to the CD yesterday for the first time in 100 years , and you are right, it is pretty good. The thing that annoys me is my singing. I mean I was a drummer originally and couldn´t sing but when the CD came out we played a lot of live shows and I got better from doing it night after night but the singing legacy will remain on CD. I was not a good singer by the time we recorded it. Sad really.
All this suit/caftan thing would have made sense if it wasn´t for the fact that I found this old poster right now. I wear a suit as well. Strange. Can´t explain. We used this poster for all our live shows all the years. Pelle made it and it brings joy and laughter to mind. Just tiny small drawings and the guy´s personalities comes out so good.
If you're like me you will disagree with Sir Lord Erotic's opinion of his own vocal talent. I think the vocals are quite decent, especially when you compare them to a lot of the other European ska bands from the late 80s/early 90s.
Whenever I get a chance to talk to an artist about their music I like to ask what music inspired them with the question "What ten songs to you think everybody should listen to?"
Sir Lord Erotic chose these ten songs:
1 Sex Pistols - Anarchy in the UK
2 The BeeGees - Spicks and Specks
3 The Clash - (White Man) in Hammersmith Palais
4 Bob Marley & the Wailers - War
5 The Beautiful South - Hooligans Don't Fall in Love
6 The Ramones - Swallow My Pride
7 The Specials - Too Much Too Young
8 Peps Persson - Maskin Nr2
9 Sparks - This Town Ain't Big Enough for Both of Us
10 Scotty & Lorna Bennett - Skank in Bed
and the whole "The Harder They Come" soundtrack.
This download includes the "No No Lola EP" as well as "Sir Lord Erotic Selects" and "The Harder They Come" soundtrack.