Shack’s writer and frontman is Mick Head, a Liverpudlian and supporter of the League leaders. With his guitarist brother – fellow Shackite John – Mick used to play with the Pale Fountains, one of Merseyside’s most notable artistic products of the early 80’s. And like the Paleys, Shack are shot through with the sort of venomous inspiration that produces work of a genuinely epic nature.

Take Zilch, Shack’s first LP, which contains moments of musical grandeur. it’s a house full of hidden treasures taht stands firmly in the songwriting tradition of The Smiths and Aztec Camera. And yet there are segments that could’ve been written by Springsteen or Dylan; Bowie could’ve created Realization, while High Rise Low Life could’ve appeared on Motown. All sources have been plundered and utilised and Mick doesn’t even have a sampler. But he’s got talent and flair which, aside from Shack’s songs, he invests in writing screenplays and playing footie.

“We once played Test Dept and Some Bizarre, but they started getting a bit rough. It was a good game – Stevo was playing, he was rubbish, fat!”

If you want to catch the post-Pale slim-line Shack they’re touring with The Fall this week.


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Zilch (1988)
1. Emergency (listen)
2. Someone’s Knocking (listen)
3. John Kline (listen)
4. I Need You (listen)
5. Realization (listen)
6. High Rise Low Life (listen)
7. Who Killed Clayton Square? (listen)
8. Who’d Believe It? (listen)
9. What’s It Like… (listen)
10. The Believers (listen)