I, Ludicrous are a British group, formed in South London in 1985 by John Procter (guitar) and David Rippingdale (AKA Will Hung) (vocals). A drum machine completed the lineup. With a confirmed Fall influence at work musically, some have likened the group to Half Man Half Biscuit, largely it would seem on the basis that they too write songs that are occasionally satirical or sardonic, containing social commentary and referencing popular culture. They also have a few songs about football.

I, Ludicrous gained media attention and airplay in April 1987 with their very first release, a flexi disc issued with the fanzine "Blah Blah Blah" that contained the cult song "Preposterous Tales". They supported The Fall in London that May on the back of it. In mid-1987 they were invited to record a Peel session, an event which saw them became a trio with the temporary recruitment of Mark Crossley on bass. In September 1987 the group issued their debut LP, "It's Like Everything Else". A second LP, "A Warning To The Curious" followed in 1989, with a third, "Light & Bitter" emerging in 1990. That same year, "Preposterous Tales" was re-recorded and issued as a single.

Following the release of the album "Idiots Savant" in 1992, the next ten years were rather fallow for the duo, with no record releases and only occasional live performances [1]. However, the group returned in the next century with a single, "Approaching Forty" and then in 2003 a new LP "The Museum of Installation". In 2007 a career-spanning double CD "20 Years In Showbiz" was issued through Sanctuary Music. In early 2008 the duo became a trio with the recruitment of former Voice Of The Beehive bassist Martin Brett. The group continue to produce music and play live, primarily in London or Brighton, although in 2013 and 2014 they appeared at the Rebellion punk festival in Blackpool. In July 2015 the outfit released a new LP, "Dull Is The New Interesting". It was their first to feature new material in twelve years. This was followed two years later by another LP, "Songs From The Sides Of Lorries".

I, Ludicrous have supported The Fall for one-off gigs over the years - specifically in 1987, 1992 and 1995. In December 1990 they accompanied The Fall on a short UK tour. This experience was later celebrated in the song "Bloody Proud". In March 2008 the group were invited to tour again with The Fall, only to be ejected from it after four dates apparently due to Mark E Smith's unhappiness that front man Will Hung was writing a blog about the experience for the Guardian newspaper [2]. They did not support The Fall again.

Links to Peel

I, Ludicrous came to Peel's attention with their very first release, "Preposterous Tales". The group were soon invited to record a session for the programme, although as Peel later commented, in his opinion it was "a session which wasn't I think one of their very best works" [3]. Nevertheless, Peel continued to play their records over the next few years.

Although generally supportive of the group, one small criticism that Peel made concerned the length of their songs. He was happy to feature tracks from Light & Bitter on his BFBS shows in 1991, but said:

"Most of the tracks on the LP go on a bit, actually: I mean, they could do with being more succinct, but nevertheless, an LP that's got some amusing ideas on it." [4]

Before playing "Bloody Proud" on 18 September 1992, he expanded on this:

"It occurred to me that most of their songs are actually too long. You know, I mean they're full of rather entertaining notions and so on but they carry... this one is a very good case in point. It's 'Bloody Proud' and it's about them supporting The Fall on tour and it's full of good ideas as I say, but it does go on a bit. It's only 3 minutes and 25 seconds long but would be better I venture at 2:25."

Upon playing 'We're The Support Band' on 29 August 2002, Peel says, "I must admit I thought that they'd gone their separate ways", adding, "very nice to hear those perishers again".

Given his huge affection for the Fall, it seems odd that Peel didn't play the song "Never Been Hit By Mark E Smith" from 2003's "Museum Of Installation" LP (Peel does not appear to have played anything from this release). Adding to the mystery, the song was included on the 2004 Fall tribute LP "Perverted By Mark E", but wasn't one of several tracks from it which were played on the programme between April and June that year. Perhaps, given his earlier comments about their track lengths, Peel baulked at the length of the song (5 minutes 32 seconds).

Peel's colleague Steve Lamacq was also a champion of the group. On the tribute show of 28 October 2004, Lamacq included "Preposterous Tales" and describes how, having heard the song on the Peel show in 1987, he'd sent away 50p and a SAE to get a copy of the fanzine and the flexi. Paying tribute to Peel, he comments, "nobody else would have played that track, no-one else would genuinely have got that onto the radio."

Festive Fifty Entries


I, Ludicrous - Preposterous Tales

#11 in the 1987 Festive Fifty


1. Recorded: 1987-05-31. First broadcast: 16 June 1987. Repeated: 01 July 1987.

  • Fabulous / Quite Extraordinary / A Pop Fan's Dream / Ridiculous

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