Arts

Essential re-issue: Sultans of Ping FC – Casual Sex in The Cineplex

The Sultans pictured in Leitrim in 1992. Picture by AJ Barratt

IRELAND'S self-proclaimed 'rock stars for all eternity' Sultans of Ping FC released their classic debut LP 25 years ago this month. To celebrate, Cherry Red Records have just re-issued the Cork combo's long out-of-print 1993 opus as an 'expanded edition'.

Containing the Sultans' essential, absurdist, thrashy guitars and spoken word-powered ode to lost knitwear, Where's Me Jumper?, CSITC also finds pleasingly snotty singer Niall O'Flaherty commanding his band of PVC-clad comrades through several other playfully idiosyncratic and supremely catchy indie punk rocking numbers.


Lyrical topics include football (Give Him A Ball), girls (Veronica, Let's Go Shopping, 2 Pints of Rasa, Indeed You Are, Karaoke Queen), idiots (You Talk Too Much), sexual peccadillos (Kick Me With Your Leather Boots) and, er, Jesus (Back In A Tracksuit).

If anyone knows who/what moody late album oddity Clitus Clarke is actually about ("pole-vaulting taliped"?), please don't get in touch.

Disc two collects the never-before-on-CD debut EP What About Those Sultans!, with its charmingly embryonic lo-fi sound and chucklesome musings ("Nobody talks about Bulgaria on the news anymore"), plus a slew of excellent b-sides from the Casual Sex-era singles – including the Sultans' unofficial anthem, Turnip Fish, a finger-clicking jazz groover best enjoyed with your legs in the air, naturally.


Also featuring somewhat illuminating sleevenotes from latter-day Sultans guitar-wrangler Sammy 'The Golden Horde' Steigers, the newly expanded CSITC captures these Corkonian renegades just as they seemed poised to take over the charts/asylum.

Sadly, the music press and Britpop had other ideas – but this is still a fine, infectiously anarchic debut LP.

Definitely still sexy.

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