Today: April 22, 2024

Carter USM’s 30 Something

Carter USM’s 30 Something Delivers Hits and The Holy Grail Of Music DVDs.

For those of us who were in the mosh pit at Brixton Academy, it comes as something of a shock to realise that Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine’s smart, visceral, and totally danceable album, 30 Something is thirty something years old this year.

To mark the moment, Chrysalis Records will be releasing a deluxe, remastered three CD box set, poster booklet.

Formed out of the ashes of Jamie Wednesday in the late ‘80s, Carter USM—AKA Jim Bob and Fruitbat—set out to change the world through post-punk pop, using songs crafted with their own inimitable blend of upbeat rhythms, wordplay, and biting diatribes on life’s sometimes desperate times in Tory Britain.

Their debut album: 101 Damnations, cast a pre-apocalyptic pall over the band’s South London stomping grounds and generated the stomp-along anthem Sheriff Fatman—a single that raised the roof about bad housing and slum landlords.

Next up was 30 Something. Recorded in 20 days, on an 8-track and costing only £4,000, the album scored a 10/10 in the NME, and spawned the singles, Bloodsport For All and Anytime Anyplace Anywhere. The long-sleeved red-and-white 30 Something t-shirt remains iconic indie wear.

30 Something was, arguably their best. A wonderful, tuneful, angry beast that gave fans eleven songs worthy of hit-single status. The new box set ramps that with two more CDs worth of tracks, from the heartbreaking This Is How It Feels to the riff-heavy club favourite, Surfin’ USM.

However the Holy Grail of Carter USM merch has, for decades, been the  DVD, In Bed With Carter, featuring footage from the Brixton Academy. Now available for the first time since its 1991 VHS release, the DVD contains new commentary from Jim Bob and Fruitbat, about the gig—and cats.

Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine’s  30 Something Box Set is a must-have for fans of Carter and a music scene where having a social conscience isn’t incompatible with Top Ten hits. This is, as the guys themselves might have said, all the hits, all the time. And it’s out on 10th March. Go get some.

The full track listing for this deluxe version features three CDs and a DVD.

CD1 – Surfin’ USM / My Second To Last Will And Testament / Anytime Anyplace Anywhere / A Prince In A Pauper’s Grave / Shoppers’ Paradise / Billy’s Smart Circus / Bloodsport For All / Sealed With A Glasgow Kiss / Say It With Flowers / Falling On A Bruise/ The Final Comedown 

CD2 – Re-Educating Rita / Alternate Title/ Randy Sarf Git / 2001: A Clockwork Orange / Bedsitter / Christmas Shoppers’ Paradise / G.I. Blues (Live At Kent Uni 14/10/90) / Rubbish (Radio 1 At The Great British Music Weekend 19/1/91)/ Re-Educating Rita (Radio 1 At The Great British Music Weekend 19/1/91)/ My Second To Last Will And Testament (Radio 1 At The Great British Music Weekend 19/1/91)/ Sheriff Fatman (Radio 1 At The Great British Music Weekend 19/1/91)/ Rent (Radio 1 At The Great British Music Weekend 19/1/91)/ Sheriff Fatman  (Radio 1 Session 2/3/91) / A Prince In A Pauper’s Grave (Radio 1 Session 2/3/91) / Sealed With A Glasgow Kiss (Radio 1 Session 2/3/91) / A Sheltered Life (Radio 1 Session 2/3/91)

CD3 – BBC Live in Concert 7/12/91: Surfin’ USM / Midnight On The Murder Mile / Rubbish / Good Grief Charlie Brown / My Second To Last Will And Testament / Re-Educating Rita / Anytime Anyplace Anywhere / Say It With Flowers / A Prince In A Pauper’s Grave / Sheriff Fatman / After The Watershed / Shoppers’ Paradise / The ‘90s Revival / Bloodsport For All / This Is How It Feels / A Perfect Day To Drop The Bomb

DVD – In Bed With Carter (Brixton Academy 1991): Introduction / Surfin’ USM / Re-Educating Rita / Midnight On The Murder Mile / My Second To Last Will And Testament / Rubbish / Say It With Flowers / A Prince In A Pauper’s Grave / Bloodsport For All / Billy’s Smart Circus / A Perfect Day To Drop The Bomb / This Is How It Feels / Rent / G.I. Blues / Sheriff Fatman / Backstage With Jim’s Mum And Auntie.


Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email:

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