We’re a sucker for a good story – especially one from the halcyon days of punk rock.
So it is with Bona Rays’ Poser, possibly the UK’s last great undiscovered punk single from the 1970s, and the only UK punk single recorded from that time fronted by a woman of West Indian descent.
Back in 1978, punk songwriter and guitarist Tony Keating had a few songs he’d written and was looking for a singer. A friend encountered Chas at a tube station after a gig and asked her if she was interested in singing on Tony’s tracks. She’d been singing to herself on the platform before climbing across the tracks to rip down a poster that had taken her fancy. A few weeks later, they had christened themselves Bona Rays (Good Looking in Polari) and were in a studio in Highbury, North London cutting two tracks. They punted this single around the record companies, but to no avail. The acetate from the sessions sat in Chas’ cupboard, while Tony kept hold of the master tape.
40 years later, Chas was moving house and decided to sell her records. She took them to Flashback Records where owner Mark Burgess bought the collection. In amongst these records was an unknown 7” acetate. After Chas left the shop, intrigued by this oddity, Mark played Poser on the shop system. Fate stepped in as Chas walked back into the shop at that moment to sell a few DVDs she’d forgotten to bring along earlier and said – “Oh – you’re playing our song”.
And the rest as they say is history. Mark suggested to Chas that they release the single on Flashback Records. Chas was still in contact with Tony and they both very happily agreed to release Bona Rays long lost Poser and the B-Side, Getaway Blues.
Listen below, and order a copy from Bandcamp here.