“Welcome to this collection of musical ditties by punkpop band The Shapes, who hailed from the centre of the known universe, otherwise known as Royal Leamington Spa; a small Midland town distinguished only by the hazy memory of a brief visit to it’s stuccoed-nowhereness by Queen Victoria sometime in the last century, for the extremely unpleasant Spa water and lastly for a rather miserable poem written by the late poet laureate Sir John Betjeman.
The core of The Shapes was made up of non-too-serious effluvia that was discharged from certain local public school. The band was active between the years 1977 to 1981. During this brief career they released two singles, the first being the Part of the Furniture EP on their own Sofa Records label in early 1979, which featured perhaps the most memorable songs that the band composed, namely Wot’s for Lunch, Mum? (Not Beans Again) and (I saw) Batman (In the Launderette). This record sold in excess of 10,000, was given extensive airplay on the radio, and earned the band a session for the John Peel Show on BBC Radio One. Some critics credit The Shapes as having been the founders of a sub-genre of punk known as “punkpathetique” and it is certainly true that the band deliberately steered a course away from the proselytising and semi-politics of the punk bands that had preceded them. In his lyrics Seymour Bybuss wrote about the general silliness of life. In his febrile imagination, the world was one big comic cartoon, to which he added a supporting cast of freaks, aliens and superheroes.
In 1980 The Shapes finally released their follow-up single, a double B-side featuring Airline Disaster b/w Blast Off! on the infamous Belfast-based Good Vibrations Records. History relates that this release did not do quite as well as the band had hoped, despite their loyal fanbase. Sadly, the scene has moved on, and thus their story came grinding to a halt.
The Shapes were never very famous, but their music lives on, having been previously reissued by Overground Records on CD and now LP. Listen carefully and enjoy the sound of a band who were recklessly dedicated to praising all things yampy, who were driven by a refreshingly exuberant naivety, and for whom, some 35 years later, this LP finally closes the chapter of musical history entitled The Shapes?”