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A DEBUT album from a trio named after a breed of chicken. The Buff Medways is in fact the latest nom de guerre for garage-rock luddite Billy Childish. Thus, quite apart from the Chatham-based artist's renown as writer, painter and ex-boyfriend of Tracey Emin,Steady the Buffs arrives carrying the hefty baggage of the 99 albums he has made to date. You might think that anyone who has been in bands for 25 years and still isn't famous is destined never to be so.
Childish has certainly never courted popularity, but his underdog status is under threat, largely due to the patronage of the White Stripes, the Hives and Blur's Graham Coxon, who runs the Transcopic label, Here, Childish remains true to his principles, blasting out low-fidelity but high-quality, neo-Sixties beat tunes with a verve that puts the latest crop of young 'uns to shame. Childish has picked a good time to make one of his punchiest records.