When In Rome, Kill Me cover art When In Rome, Kill Me cover art (back)

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Rome Reviewed

When In Rome, Kill Me

Release date 1989

Record label Imaginary

Tracklisting (click on a song title for lyrics)

    1. When In Rome, Kill Me
    2. Only (A Prawn In Whitby)
    3. Bibi Couldn't See
    4. Strange Kind Of Love
    5. Push And Shove
    6. Day Crime Paid
    7. When In Rome, Kill Me Again
  1. I've Had It With Blondes
  2. Van Van Van
  3. Vocally Speaking
  4. Wobbly Jelly
  5. Alison Springs
  6. Epicurean's Answer
  7. Bomba Boy (CD release only)

Mastered reissue, release date 2007

Record label Universal

Bonus tracks:

  1. Van Van Van (Live BBC Leeds 1987 session)
  2. I've Had It With Blondes (demo)
  3. Bibi Couldn't See (John Peel Session)
  4. Strange Kind of Love (Live in Sheffield)
  5. Alison Springs (alternative mix)
  6. Only (A Prawn in Whitby) - Carefree Sud
  7. Starry Eyes - Carefree Sud
  8. Vocally Speaking/Wobbly Jelly - Carefree Sud
  9. I've Had It With Blondes (outro, live Wakefield)
  10. Bomba Boy


Carl Puttnam (Vocals)
Mike Dunphy (Guitar & keyboards)
William Potter (Bass guitar)
Steve Goodwin (Drums & percussion)
Tris Williams (2nd drumkit & additional guitar)
Denise (Cello)
Richard Formby (production, organ & fuzz guitar on Alison Springs)
Alaric Neville (production)


The first seven songs on the album are linked by short narrative segments, such that the first half of the album loosely forms a single story. In this story, it is implied that the protagonist flees Whitby to Rome after committing some crime. There he is reunited with Bibi, possibly an accomplice in the crime, with whom he sleeps, but the following morning he wakes to find Bibi has left and grassed him to the police. We leave the protanonist drunk in a bar, as police sirens approach, with him rueing, "I would have got away with it, if it hadn't been for those ... meddling kids". But, as William Potter says, "it doesn't really make sense".

The part of the central character was played by Steve Goodwin's landlord John Farrell (referred to as Johnny Money by the Cud boys). The part of Bibi was played by Elizabeth Cuthbertson who may, or may not, have been the inspiration for the song Not Exactly D.L.E.R.C.

When In Rome was recorded March 1989 at Woodhouse Studios, Leeds. The record was remastered when tracks were selected for inclusion on The Anthology in 2006 in anticipation of the album's rerelease in 2007.