The Bollock Brothers – McDonald / Lydon Records 1980

The Act Became Real

The Actor Dub

This record is so bad it is not really worth listening to. Ham rap / reggae at it’s worst, lyrics written by a seven year old by the sound of it…I believe they are Arsenal FC supporters, hence the lack of flair or care in thier work. I only put this rotter up to read any comments about the band and Spiv McDonald if anyone has any to write up…! 

The only good thing about this post is that the next one has GOT to be great!

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1985 – 1988 All The Madmen Records and Distribution
1988 – 1991 King Penguin Distribution
1989 – ???? Southern Studios / Southern Record Distribution

44 thoughts on “The Bollock Brothers – McDonald / Lydon Records 1980”

  1. the bollock brothers are indeed complete shite – however an offshoot called the 4 be 2s did release one classic 7″ – ‘one of the lads’ featuring youth on bass – dubbed up irish music doesn’t do it justice. mark stewart at a ceilidh is a bit better. upload?

  2. the “dropped a bollock brothers” would be more like it.
    The 4 be 2s……am I right in remembering some shows at the robey?I know the lydon brother still lived in the flats at finsbury park at this time and drank down there,trading much on his brothers name

  3. Truly rotten…

    We did enjoy blasting the Bollock Brothers ‘Never Mind the Bollocks 1983’ LP though for its sheer synthy crap-ness (particularly ‘God Save the Queen’ which featured Michael Fagin (the Queen’s bedroom visitor) on vocals)…hellfire, just the memory of that record is bad enough…

    2 (future) members of Bananarama apparently added backing vocals on one of the 4 Be 2’s singles…

    There used to be a big ‘4 Be 2’s’ graffitti for years and years up by Golders Green…

    The ‘Jock McDonald Skins’ get a mention in this interesting account of trouble at the Acklam Hall when Crisis played there:

  4. Bannanarama did a great cover version of No Feelings by Sex Pistols on the first Peel session. Two of them were girlfriends of Cook and Jones around 1979/80 I seem to remember being told hence the link to 4 be 2s maybe.

  5. Excellent blog – thanks for all your hard work. I’m with the other comment makers – the Bollock Bothers were rubbish, but the 4″Be2″s were just great. I’ve been searching but can’t locate any of their music on blog sites… can anyone help? Particularly hard to find (if indeed posted) due to the myriad permutations of the band name (4be2’s, 4″ Be 2″, 4″Be2s, etc. etc) … I believe there was an “official” CD (long out of print) but I also seem to recall it had different versions, etc. – didn’t sound much cop, altho’ I never saw it… Any hints as to digital versions of the original vinyl??

  6. Thanks a lot for that, Nic! That’s the only one I still have on vinyl, but excellent to now have a digital version. Most of all I’d love to find All of the Lads – lent to a “friend” in ’82 or so, and never glimpsed since…

  7. Isn’t ‘All of the Lads’ all of them except McDonald?

    Interesting stuff on the site, my friend: Sleepy, Nervous, Tiny and GG…nice…
    “In this room…with a needle and a spoon”…

  8. The only good 4 be 2s single was ‘Frustration’, featuring JL on vocals. It really is a great record. I knew Jock McDonald, and he was a sleazy, dislikeable toerag. Ironically, he made a great 12″ single (produced by JL) titled ‘We’ll be There’. You can occasionally pick it up on eBay UK. I agree that the BB stuff was 100% dreary dross.

  9. I’m not sure, Nic. But All of the Lads was their best record, although it might be their least known. A bit of a One of the Lads clone, but superior…

    As for the debut single, I have an amusing promo video featuring the band miming on a building site together with trowel-wielding 50 year old Irish builder entourage (Old man Lydon’s pals?) one of whom is playing the mandolin, Dubliners-style (perhaps he played on the record?). Wish I was technology-savvy enough to post it – can’t see it on youtube, etc.

    Thanks for the feedback on the website… spread the word!!

    Cheers, james

  10. Now wasn’t the whole “produced by J. Lydon” another bit of classic Jock McDonald-ism. He asked John’s brother Jimmy to be in the band mainly so that he could use his name for the producers credit. Or at least that was the story going around at the time. Got to hand it to him though 25 years later and his fake band is still being talked about.

  11. just listened to the bollock brothers last night for the first time i thought they were great but i was out of my head at the time i,ll have another listen when i
    am sober

  12. Searchin me brain for rare records to taunt Mr P with.
    It aint punk and its post 86 but have you got ‘short dick man’ by Twenty Fingers?
    The follow up was ‘Ugly mother fucker’
    Classic dyke techno.

  13. Jock McDonald? Lovely man. We were supposed to be supporting them (4 Be 2’s) at a pub in Camberwell. He had a go at our manager Jess, I told him to stop, then he smacked Mitzi round the face. When me and Mitzi went outside he got one of his goons to come out after us and punch me unconscious. Asshole.

  14. baron>Ive got “short dick man” on a mix tape somewhere.
    Pork> jess was that the really lanky girl..Didn’t she have this big butch skinhead boyfriend…Was he called john? They were both well sound

  15. Pengy> have you got “Things Your Mother Never Told You.” by The Electric Chairs? I’ve got the first two albums but would love to hear this again.

  16. @Baron->Yeah, that was Jessica – friend of Bob’s from Oz, I think. Lived at the Buildings if you remember?

    Dunno if skinhead John was her boyfriend though. He was a cool character, even with a brainful of Zoff. Just well chilled!

  17. Gosh you’ve got such a good memory Pork!
    Baron> i could send you the “short dick” mix tape if you wish.

  18. Jess was great. Was Aussie so a KYPP person no?. Was in St Monicas etc. Oh yeah skinhead John was a gentle giant.
    Cheers for that Phil. But im holding out for a digital version. I aint yet got the right wires to digitalise my zillions of mix tapes.

  19. I remember me Keith and Jess had plans for starting some kind of poetry magazine called ‘Testcard’. She came up to 66a and we talked about it at length but nothing happened. Funny how credible poetry was for a while. I only let Keith read mine I think, as he was a fellow Jam fan. What an amazingly creative time it was. It felt like you had nothing but could do anything.

  20. I was the guitarist in the 4 be 2s and I have to say I have never met a more ignorant, arrogant fucker as Jock MacDonald.
    and Jimmy was just like to drink -constantly..

  21. loved 4″be2″s still listen to the singles bollock brothers are hard to like.
    went to see them aberdeen music hall brilliant live but albums couldn’e eat a whole one.

  22. “Jock McDonald? Lovely man. We were supposed to be supporting them (4 Be 2’s) at a pub in Camberwell. He had a go at our manager Jess, I told him to stop, then he smacked Mitzi round the face. When me and Mitzi went outside he got one of his goons to come out after us and punch me unconscious. Asshole.”

    Just read this and laughed out loud. Apologies to Mr Pork but his poetical epiphany of those times grabbed me deeply and sentimentally right in the cojones.

  23. Used to play in the Bollock Brothers around 81-83, and yes…total crap!!..
    Every song was based on another including their club classic ‘The Bunker’ – have a listen to No GDM by Gina X – sound familiar?

    Also, anyone remember that other dreadful song ‘Drac’s Back?

    Thank god I joined a decent band afterwards…

    By the way…any of you old electro heads have a copy of ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ by the Bombay Ducks? -Can’t seem to get it anywhere!

  24. I had the “Last Supper” 2xlp as a kid & remember thinking it was the best thing ever, but I think it was more to do with the name “Bollock Brothers” on the cover (I was about 13). Cos all I seem to remember a scotch fella telling crap stories about apple pies with a synth in the background pretty forgetable, & I did’nt know the history of them, so I’ve learned lots about a band everyone seems to hate…
    I will look up the 4 be 2s.

  25. The news that the Bollock Brothers (or is it those two French DJs?) are playing in London this Friday (June 11th) got me to thinking about them and the 4 Be 2s. First heard of Jock MacDonald in connection with trying to organise 1,000 punk a side football matches and tug o’wars as the 1970s faded into the 1980s , and later as a purveyor of dodgy vinyl Pistols bootlegs such as Anarchy In The UK and Never Trust A Hippy.
    Someone pointed me in the direction of the 4 Be 2s first single (One Of The Lads) a bizarre dub rock effort which was catchy (though I couldn’t really take to the B side (UmmBaba). The picture cover featured blokes wearing horror masks and military uniforms. My guide pointed out that one was Jimmy Lydon (John’s brother) who had a penchant for German WWII memorabilia and you could see his dodgy eye behind the mask, as someone had whacked him for wearing an Iron Cross (Don’t know if that was true). Their second single Frustration was a brilliant ska style singalong about being gaoled for murdering your girlfriend. The B Side was equally brilliant – a cover of The Who’s I Can’t Explain which sounded like Bowie’s version from Pin-Ups – but speeded up and on steroids. Their final effort was an instrumental reworking of their first single this time called All Of The Lads in aid of youngsters killed in a disco fire in Dublin. The B-side featured a dreadful mysogynist dirge called Bitch, and another cheery ska hopalong called Jimmy Jones about the nutter who got all those folk over to Guyana then had them commit mass suicide by drinking poisoned Kool-Aid.
    Saw them at the Lyceum supported by other North London stalwarts Infa-Riot and The Dark. (and Chelsea). Just remember Jock (?) calling for a minutes silence for the perished youth of Dublin, mass audience speculation as to whether one of the many figures in shadow back stage was John Lydon, and hordes of pogoing and congaing Arsenal skins as Jimmy (in a bright green suit) led the festivities. Mind you, being a devout coward I left early as there were loads of less than happy West Ham skins up the back.
    I know they played a St Patrick’s Day hooley at the Rainbow, supported by The Bollock Brothers and Pope Paul & The Romans.
    The BBs recorded career seems long & dubious. I bought The Bunker and wasn’t surprised that it didn’t feature in the Anthony Hopkins as Adolf Hitler TV movie. I bought The Act Became Real (about Ronnie Reagan) but it didn’t seem to be much of an improvement. They did their version of NMTB with Palace Prowler Michael Fagan – I saw them at The Marquee – masses of tourists going bananas to the Pistols songs. A review in Sounds consisted solely of Jack Barron phoning the Marquee for a free ticket then playing Space Invaders. Journalists, eh? They then seemed to latch onto the Batcave thing and pretend to be Goths – using Horror Film imagery on their 12 inchers. The B Side of The Slow Removal Of Vincent Van Gogh’s Left Ear featured ‘Paul Gadd Jr’ singing Rock ‘N’ Roll. Bizarrely they seemd very popular in Europe. I was surprised to find The Last Supper on CD in Germany.
    I’m glad someone mentioned We’ll Be There (by Rabbie Burns & The Ticket Touts – a refusal to accept the blanket ban on Scotsmen at Wembley after they trashed the place in ‘75) as the cover featured Jock and a bemused Lydon – the latter to the outrage of the English music press. Other one-offs included the now outdated Why Won’t Rangers Sign A Catholic Centre Forward (a collection of pro-Celtic, anti-Rangers chants set to punk thud ‘n’ blunder with a synth burbling over the top) by Pope Paul & The Romans, and a (Chelsea supporting) acquaintance of mine owned Good Old Arsenal by The Sex Bristols. (a retread of Frustration, encompassing pro-Arsenal, anti-Tottenham chants – which I believe led to Messrs Lydon and McDonald being prosecuted for something like incitement to racial hatred, and Jock appearing in the witness box to explain that a certain three letter word beginning with Y wasn’t a racial slur on Jews but an expression for a follower of Tottenham Hotspur.)
    Ever read Johnny Rogan’s examination of The Smiths – Morrissey & Marr : The Severed Alliance? It mentions Morrissey fronting the Nosebleeds (bet he was no Ed Banger) and supporting the BBs in Belgium (surely the nadir of his musical career?)
    Also check out Prince Charming – one of those cheap paperbacks rushed out the celebrate the fleeting fame of pop stars (the only other people who seem to merit this cut and paste storytelling are serial killers) in this case Adam Ant. It documents the bizarre episode of Top Of The Pops where, the audience contained many sprightly young men in “I’ve Been Hit By A 4” Be 2” “ t-shirts (I had one!) attempting to hog the camera, and the tabloid aftermath on the morrow, where Adam (and at least one Ant) had been assaulted by these yobs.

  26. @David-> by the feel of it that may have been the gentleman that broke my nose in Camberwell 🙂

  27. The removal — slowly — of Vincent Van Gogh’s leeeftttttt eaarrrrr….

    Arrrrrgghhhhhhhhhh !!!!!!!!!!!!


    Arrgh !


  28. Heh heh….The removal……Slowly — Of the left ear of Vincent Van Gogh………..Arrrrgghhhhhhhhhh !!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  29. was only 18 and travelled with an offshoot of the bollock brothers to promote their 12 single we’ll be there..about when the scots could get no tickets for wembley. was going to promote the record at a wales v scotland match at the then home of swansea football club vetchfield road. they had looted the off licence in chiswick before we got outta london and then from then on one nutty day and i even seem to recall jock mcdonald getting nicked for something.

  30. hi am trying to contact anyone from the 4b2s.can anyone help thanks. am very ill and just wanted to contact anyone from the band pleae if anyone can can you get in touch please.alan

  31. They also released “good old Arsenal” as the 4be2’s. I bought it at an Arsenal home game.

  32. Hi am trying to contact any former members of 4″be.tried jock wanting to do documentary about 4″be 2″.if anyone can help be great email me at alancadenhead97@gmail title for doc it will be One Of The Lads (unforgotten band) 4″be 2″.thanks.please if any former members out there get in touch.would love to contact jimmy

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