Camper Van Beethoven: “Take The Skinheads Bowling”

Posted: April 11, 2016 in THE CLASH of Cover Tunes
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Tune du Jour: “Take the Skinheads Bowling” – Camper Van Beethoven
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Manic Street Preachers vs. No Skanks On Sunday vs. Small White
Broc 3 - Cover Me Impressed

There’s not a line that goes here that rhymes with anything …



What should you do if you awakened to find skinheads on your lawn? Thankfully this important and practical song by Camper Van Beethoven offers the consensus best solution to this age-old problem.


The Original


Camper Van Beethoven:


THE CLASH of Cover Tunes


Manic Street Preachers vs. No Skanks On Sunday vs. Small White
Manic Street Preachers:

No Skanks On Sunday:

Granted these spirited lasses need a little time to get going but once they do just sit back and enjoy the ride!

Small White:

(Extra credit for performing the number in a bowling alley.)


Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. It is your solemn responsibility to decide which cover song prevails. In other words … Which Side Are You On?!!? 


Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

  1. Cuspid says:

    I like all three of these covers better than the original, which is essentially just a novelty song with a funny title and a chorus that consists of the funny title. I love the heavy bass in Small White’s version, along with the ambiance of an actual bowling alley. No Skanks On Sunday’s version is very cute with nice 3-way vocals. But in my opinion, Manic Street Preachers hit this one out of the park. They managed to turn a novelty song into something that stands solidly on its own merit all around – vocals, instrumentation, and feel. They got my vote.

  2. Arnold Plotnick says:

    I agree with Dougie here. The original is infused with a little too much smug hipster irony and a dearth of actual talent, although I did like the song at the time and I do have two of their albums. Well…actually, I have two Camper van Beethoven albums, and one Cracker album. No Skanks on Sunday are cute and fun, but that stripped down version only highlights how bare and silly the song really is. Manic Street Preachers and Small White both add more instrumentation to the song to try to elevate it a little, and both succeed, but MSP do it much better. They got my vote, too.

  3. Kerry Black says:

    I voted Manic Street Preachers for best cover; they also win “best band name”. No Skanks On Sunday earned points for wearing uniforms, and Small White gets credit for filming the video in a bowling alley.

    In the distant future, when archaeologists discover my collection, they’ll probably be surprised to find all the Camper Van Beethoven material in amongst everything else. I’ve got about eight of their CDs, and I’ve always loved their sound. They did a reunion album in ’04 after lying dormant for about fifteen years. I was pleasantly surprised, and consider it on par with their heyday.

  4. RDubbs says:

    This is a rough call. The Manics tear it up, no doubt about it. And based solely on quality of song and recording they provide the runaway best version. By the way, they actually did studio versions of the song. Here’s the other one:

    From the first time I discovered No Skanks on Sunday, which was years ago, their version has delighted me. Pure fun. And really nice girls. Well actually I know absolutely nothing about any of them. Yet until proved otherwise I will steadfastly maintain pure wholesomeness of this lass-trio. The quintessential “girls next door” in a young knucklehead’s perfect fantasy.

    But Small White came out of nowhere to win my vote. The sound quality is a bit lacking but so what, great version all the same. If anything the rough around the edges aspect plays well to the subject matter. Ant the drifting violinist with pins exploding in the background combine to produce a mesmerizing visual. On this given day, Small White!

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