Buster Bloodvessel, Bad Manners’ eccentric front man, might be half the man he used to be, but the zany crooner still kicks up a mighty storm of moon-stomping Ska and reggae music.
And Lancashire audiences this weekend (and Preston Ska fans on December 22) can see Buster and his band live in action.
Buster was famous for his shiny bald head, giant personality and his even bigger, roly-poly frame.
But after losing a staggering 17 stone, Buster, who once ran a hotel in Margate called Fatty Towers, with gigantic beds and an annual Belly of the Year contest, is unrecognisable from the colossal figure who bounced around the stage on Top of the Pops belting out Lip Up Fatty at the height of their fame in the 1980s.
Buster, who returns to Clitheroe’s Grand Theatre for Bad Manners’ Xmas show this Saturday (December 2) and who plays at Preston’s LiVe venue at the Guild Hall on December 22, said: “I lost so much weight people thought I was dying when they saw me.
“When I got down to 12 stone I looked like a ballerina on stage.
“I just couldn’t believe it when I looked in the mirror.
“At one stage I was 31 stone and I collapsed during a concert.
“I suppose I was living up to an image. People expected Buster to be huge, but it made me unwell.
“But I liked the idea of being fat, eating, drinking, being jolly – to me those are fine qualities.”
Whilst Bad Manners’ hits, My Girl Lollipop, Can Can and Special Brew, topped the charts, Buster’s weight topped the scales.
And 40 years from their first gig – at Stonehenge Free Festival of all places – Buster and the boys are still tearing up the floorboards.
“In every performance I was thinking this could be my last, the way I was performing on stage,” said Buster, real name Doug Trendle.
· Bad Manners play Clitheroe Grand Theatre, December 2. Contact 01200 421599 or www.thegrandvenue.co.uk. On December 22 they play a Christmas Party at the LiVe venue, Preston Guild Hall.