Royal Scumbag Orchestra are habitual rock’n’roll offenders who could benefit from a good wash, a shave, reform school or the birch. Miki’s uncle once said that he had a great future as a road sweeper. Unfortunately, he never made it, but assures us that with diligence and industry anything can be achieved. Pannell is one of the few, who can actually claim to have a criminal record for playing music, after one too many run-ins with the law resulted in prosecution for the crime of 'Playing musical instrument for reward'. Band concerts have gone from the sublime to the ridiculous over the years.
The most ridiculous include playing in a bathtub at a party, in a boxing ring, or in the cell of London’s Charing Cross Police Station after the group had been arrested for performing in the street. The boys arrived at the police station with a singer in Marilyn Monroe drag armed with a snare, double bass and guitars to find the cells full of drunks who had been out celebrating St. Patrick’s day the night before. The desk sergeant was forced to count out £75 in loose change, and then put all four into the same cell -with instruments too. There followed an improvised set including ‘Jailer Bring Me More Water’ ‘Jailhouse Rock’ ‘Fulsome Prison Blues’ etc.
Over the years the group have undergone many name and line-up changes and have toured Spain, England, Scandinavia, the Canary Islands and performed in Germany, Holland, and once even done a tour of working-men’s clubs in Wales.
Part two of the record was a much noisier glam rock-style affair with feedback-drenched guitars and Pablo Lopez on full gas! Pure adrenaline.
The group are following up this year’s PRELUDE TO A PUNCH 1 & 2 with CRIMINAL RECORD, another double-album, due out in 2010. The album covers a load of unusual styles picked up on their travels: big band swing, flamenco, jazz, fingerstyle, bluegrass, jump-blues, rumba, rockabilly, punk, etc. The group’s revolutionary 100% garage-guaranteed approach (see website’s Scumbag Manifesto) involves a stripped-down do-it-yourself approach that gets rid of producers, ousts record companies, boots out promoters and exposes the phoniness and faddishness of the music business and fandom in general.
Spain's EL MUNDO newspaper called them '...a charismatic gang of working class rogues with a tale to tell and grudge to bear...' and EL PAIS described them as 'A raging whirlwind of high-octane rockabilly and soul... These boys look like they could bully their way to the top.' 20 MINUTOS magazine claimed they were 'One of the few Spanish rock and soul groups fit to carry the torch.' We didn't understand what they meant either.
The group had a brief four-and-a-half minutes of fame in 2004 when they performed VIVA JAYNE MANSFIELD in Seville’s Olympic Stadium as invited guests in the final of the Davis Cup. After they were unceremoniously thrown out into the street by a group of over-zealous Spanish riot police after an incident in the VIP lounge. ‘But how were we to know it was John McEnroe’s table and not our free food rider?...’ remonstrated Bingo with his mouth stuffed full of lobster. The adventure continues.
Prelude to a Punch 1 & 2 are available now on Heroe De La Guitarra Records at the band’s website www.royalscumbagorchestra.com Both CDs for a single price of €15. Profits go directly to the musicians. If you can’t afford it, at least leave us a message on our forum, make us your friend on Myspace, Facebook, etc. Remember there’s no big-budget corporate marketing behind this…… so help spread the word!