Their name may have been a reference to Jean Dubuffet and Eddie may have confessed a deep love for Van Gogh, but Art Brut's entrance into the annals of rock with the call to arms Formed A Band may quite easily have been some sort of relational aesthetics experiment gone utterly right. Like a version of KLF's The Manual for a Libertines age, people did follow the command to do as they do ("dye your hair black! Never look back!") with aplomb; Team Band, having obeyed the instruction from a stage in Chicago, ended up touring America with them, while Art Brut 3 became The Space Peacocks, a man from West Virginia formed Art Brut p, and We Are Scientists became Art Brut 47. Regardless of the Situationist hi-jinx though, the song itself – still superior in its earlier form as released on Rough Trade – continues to be an exhilarating rally cry, doused liberally with a defiant sincerity which could easily have prompted another new phenomenon called the aural double-take. It remains a regret that their modest success means the Top Of The Pops dream may never happen, but the song "as universal as happy birthday"? Close enough.
[Album: Bang Bang Rock & Roll]