Legendary Edinburgh act The Country Teasers are the subject of a new film, screening online now.
‘This Film Should Not Exist’ – a mix of old and new unreleased live footage compiled by the movie’s French and Italian producers Gisella Albertini, Massimo Scocca, and Nicolas Drolc – gets its UK premiere as part of the Doc’n Roll Festival in London.
The new documentary focuses on Ben Wallers, including interviews with the band’s frontman as well as former bass player (and now successful playwright) Simon Stephens.
There are also appearances from Eric Friedl, Greg Cartwright and Jack Yarber from lo-fi garage trio the Oblivians, with whom The Country Teasers toured Europe, and Tim Warren of Crypt Records, who released their early albums. And there are contributions from Pat Morgan and David R. Edwards of Welsh-language act Datblygu – Wallers’ artistic heroes.
Described as ‘evil country’, the band were famed for their anarchic live shows that “blur the line between drunken unprofessionalism and performance art”.
The new film aims to capture this aspect of the art-punk act, known for their confrontational lyrical stylings and a commitment to deconstructionism that has been compared to Pussy Galore, Joy Division, Butthole Surfers, The Fall and even satirist Jonathan Swift.
The Country Teasers formed in 1993 and released four studio albums (as well as a variety of compilations) on the Crypt, Fat Possum, In The Red and Guided Missile labels.
The band remained largely underground during their existence, apart from an unexpected 2018 advert for fast food chain Subway in the US, soundtracked by their cover of 2 Unlimited’s ‘No Limits’.
Wallers, who also played guitar in The Male Nurse, still performs as ‘The Rebel’, playing live shows with a Gameboy backing track or accompanied by Country Teasers’ Sophie Politowicz on drums.
The act has seen a variety of musicians pass through its lineup, including drummer Leighton Crook (also of GAG), Robert McNeill (guitar, synth), and Alastair MacKinven (guitar).
As well as bassist Stephens, early members also included Eck King, Lawrence Worthington, of The Yummy Fur and Male Nurse; and Alan Crichton (of Male Nurse fame and now sadly departed).
Doc’n Roll previously took place in Edinburgh in 2019, including a Trojan Records profile as well as Stories From the She Punks Q&A with Gina Birch out of The Raincoats and Helen McCookerybook of The Chefs.
Tickets for this week’s limited online screenings can be obtained at the Doc’n’Roll website.
More on the film here.