Seconds before I entered Bad Manners’ dressing room to interview their front man, the band’s manager warned me Buster Bloodvessel was not well, following that evening’s performance at The Britannia Theatre, Chatham. Concerned he was too ill to be interviewed, my first question to Buster, as we shook hands and I sat down next to him, was if he was well enough to answer a few questions. “Yeah, I’m in a lot of pain though.” He certainly looked to be in some discomfort, but before I could suggest postponing the interview, he continued “I’ve got a swollen, painful b*llock.” Seeing the look of shock on my face, he grinned “The right one’s got a lot bigger!”
An unconventional start to any interview, but then Buster Bloodvessel (real name Douglas Trendle) has never been one to hold with convention. With appearances on Top of The Pops in the Eighties, during which he dressed up as Henry VIII to sing “Lorraine” to a blow up doll – “That girl got it,” he states in mock seriousness, “It was a long tour!” – and in a yellow and black satin saloon girl dress to perform the Can Can, Buster is no stranger to using humour and fun in his act. “I actually think I was put on this earth just for that reason, to make people happy,” he muses. At the age of 56, and under normal circumstances, Buster still dances the Can Can. “I do like to do the Can Can…[I’m] really sorry I didn’t do the Can Can tonight,” he looks at me apologetically, before laughing “Twisted a b*llock, I think!” He then suggests that the title for this article should be “My Twisted B*llock”.
I tell Buster that all this talk of testicles has made me lose my thread. “You’re the one who’s got to keep control,” he challenges, before turning to the camera and sticking out his trademark tongue. I do manage to get the interview back on track, and find Mr. Trendle to be not only entertaining, but totally engaging and charming. We covered a wide range of topics, including his musical influences, ska in the Eighties, and Buster’s long term love affair with Margate, all of which will feature in my next book. I also learnt what a true professional lies behind the unabashed facade. The flippant remarks about his anatomy belied the real pain Buster was suffering but, ever the showman, he refused to give in to it. “It was hurting me when I started to sing “Just A Feeling,” he explains. Only a few songs into his set, it meant he spent most of the evening’s performance in agony. “I had to fight it ’cause I ain’t letting that crowd down.” Anyone who was in that crowd would agree that he did not let us down, but gave a performance with such an energy no one would have guessed his injury. The evening was the first date of a 30 gig tour for Bad Manners, so there is still plenty of time for you to see Buster Bloodvessel and his extremely talented entourage for yourself. I can’t wait to see them again next week, when they play The Quarterhouse in Folkestone. To find a gig near you Click Here