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No. 3:   Serious Drinking, ‘Hangover.’

We Brits are, as a nation, a pretty thirsty bunch, so I suppose it comes as no surprise to find the delights of drinking—and the perils—feature prominently in our popular culture. A good example of this is Hangover, the 1983 single by the aptly named Serious Drinking.


Serious Drinking had formed a couple of years earlier in Norwich and were known for their light-hearted, irreverent take on politics, society and life in general. Their first single Love on the Terraces (1982) tells of a romance that blossoms in the unlikely confines of a football ground (‘She bought me a Bovril, she stole my heart!’) and was a promising start. But it is their second release, Hangover, that I consider a real tour de force. The song opens with the dreaded ringing of an alarm clock and we find the main protagonist suffering from a severe case of  ‘the morning after the night before.’ His memory is blurred, 


Where’s Captain Kirk?

Its humour Jim, but not as we now it...

Talked together for hours last night- I can’t remember a word.

Think I made a fool of myself  ’cos everyone overheard.

Did we talk about me and you, politics or sport?

Did I try to take you home last night, get refused and distraught?

Unfortunately the more he remembers, the worse it seems to get:

but he has the nagging feeling his behaviour at the pub the previous evening may have been rather less than exemplary. He asks his girlfriend if she can shed any light on the matter: 

Love conquers all

I’m never gonna drink again, last night was just too much!

I’ve got such a bloody hangover- enough is enough!

Did I really smash those shops as I walked you home last night?

Was I really the cause of that stupid, senseless fight?

All of which leads to a period of painful self-examination:

Why do I have to do this? I really want to know!

Every other morning- beaten black and blue!

One look in the mirror tells me that I’m wrong.

Blood-shot eyes and headaches, it can’t go on for long!

Click on the Dansette to listen

to Hangover

In spite of this genuine contrition I suspect it won’t be long before our hero is back off to the local for another round of drink-fuelled mayhem. But that may just be the cynic in me talking. As for Serious Drinking, I remember them being quite well-known on the indie scene at the time; they did a few Peel sessions and released an album, The Revolution Starts at Closing Time in 1983. After the release of a third single, 1984’s Country Girl becomes Drugs and Sex Punk (which is probably a genuine tabloid headline) a couple of band members left and the first phase (bout?) of Serious Drinking came to an end.

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