Captain Sensible was in Oasis once. No, not the snotty, grubby bicycle thieves from Manchester, but a covers band from South Norwood. Raymond Burns, as he was then called, took the advice of his colleague Rat Scabies and joined The Damned. He left the band in the 80s but rejoined in the 90s and continues to perform with them to this day. In the interim, he became a pop star.
In 1982, he had a number one hit in the UK with Happy Talk, which comes from the musical South Pacific. It was bloody awful, but I loved it dearly when I was five. I think that, lyrically, it was a big influence on my life.
Captain Sensible’s backing band were Dolly Mixture whose guitarist was Robyn Hitchcock, who has put out a lot of records that I have never heard. For his part, Sensible is in a frankly awful-sounding supergroup called Dead Man Walking with members of The Alarm, Spear of Destiny and Stray Cats.
His one constructive contribution to society might be his own political party, The Blah! Party, whose function was simply to collect protest votes from people who didn’t want to vote for anyone else. Its manifesto was based on a suggestion box on its website, and gained funding from a sponsorship deal with Seabrook Potato Crisps. Its first candidate won 69 votes; its second, just 38. The website closed in 2008, and the party relaunched itself as a protest group.
He released an astonishing 22 singles, of which none were any good.