Jesse Dayton at Jumping Hot Club Gosforth

jesse dayton jhc
Jesse Dayton
Jumping Hot Club
Gosforth Civic Theatre
Newcastle

27 Oct 2017.

Getting to go to gigs on Friday nights are becoming a very rare commodity these days, but the prospect of seeing local Rock & Rolling legends the Sour Mash Trio alongside Jesse Dayton was far too good an opportunity to miss.
First of all this is a brand new venue for promoters The Jumping Hot Club; but I guess won’t be the last time they circle the wagons here……great stage, great sound and two well staffed bars…..what’s not to like?
Far too easily pigeon-holed as a Rockabilly act, the Sour Mash lads got off to a reelin’ and a rockin’ start with Sugar Daddy, a staple of their act for several years now and has matured nicely; as have others like Drinking Spree and An Empty Bottle (and a Broken Heart) which I remember playing many years ago in their raw demo forms on my old Sunday night Wireless Broadcasts.
With songs this good there’s very little reason to fill out the set with covers, like they used to do; but tonight they did slip in two. One, a Buddy Holly song I didn’t recognise gave new guitarist the incredibly young looking Joe Guillan the opportunity to really, really show what a brilliant and smart guitarist he is (and always has been!).
Although probably too old in the tooth for Global Domination, there’s no reason these three crazy kids shouldn’t go into the studio and record an album of their own self-penned songs some time soon……I know I already receive a helluva lot worse from ‘name’ acts.
Bizarrely I’d passed Jesse Dayton in the foyer earlier in the evening and not recognised him; thinking he was just one of the local Rockabilly crowd…..DOH!
So, no fancy stage clothes for Jesse and his fellow band members; just double denim that looked like it hadn’t been washed since they left home and their biker boots certainly needed a polish (does that make me sound old?).
With no into and the house lights still dimming Jesse called out “1-2-3-4!” and BOOM they ripped into Daddy Is a Badass from the Revealer album and within a minute 5 couples were dancing at the back of the hall, and plenty of chaps were shuffling their feet near the bar.
That song felt like someone sticking the key into a classic Harley, of which Dayton is so fond of mentioning and the monster rumble just got louder and sweeter as the night went on.
With no time for anyone to catch breath, least of all the trio on the stage they immediately launched into an incendiary Holy Ghost Rock & Roller before finally slowing things down with the heartfelt The Way We Are; which is about the trials and tribulations of being a troubadour Bar Band.
After a lifetime on the road (with Waylon, Cash, Willie and Ray Price) Dayton isn’t shy on a stage and has a presence worthy of much bigger venues than he’s playing on this tour (with tonight’s 100+ being the biggest crowd so far!) and his stories that introduced the likes of Possum Ran Over My Grave and 3 Pecker Goat were as funny as they were self-depreciating; leaving me thinking “I wouldn’t mind having a beer in his company.”
Pretty much the whole of The Revealer got played tonight; and the inclusion of the beautiful Mrs. Victoria (a Beautiful Thing) would have been a highlight on any other night but this evening, Dayton’s song about inter-racial tolerance coincidentally came on the weekend Newcastle was celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King being given the Freedom of our Multi-Cultural city; and coupled with all of the crazy things happening in the States these days…..it’s a very relevant song indeed 10/10.
What more can I say? I half expected a gang of Biker Dudes to march in during Devil’s On The Front Porch and there was a battle of wills between the drummer and bass-player on a ‘White Trash, honky-tonker that is shorter than a Ramones song’ which I missed the title of!
But mostly this was a night for dancing and loving, with the sultry Loretta and the dirty swampy song from True Blood were absolute highlights; but the song I was singing out loud in the car on the way home was I’m At Home Getting Hammered (While She’s Out Getting Nailed)……..Friday nights just don’t get better than this (at my age.)
If you don’t already know Jesse Dayton check out The Revealer https://rockingmagpie.wordpress.com/2016/11/12/jesse-dayton-the-revealer/ and if you get the chance to see him and his band play live…..take it….he is and they are The Real Deal!

http://jessedayton.com/

Photo-Set courtesy Harrisonaphotos http://www.harrisonaphotos.co.uk/Music/Jesse-Dayton-JHC-Gosfoth/

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Strange Blue Dreams Self-Titled CD

strange blue dreams x

Strange Blue Dreams
Self-Titled
Holy Smokes Records

Eleven Sweet Little Rock & Roll Vignettes To Make Your Heart Rejoice.

Where do start? The opening of the envelope, I suppose…….neither the CD cover nor the bands name took my fancy when I first perused the contents; and the PR who sent it is primarily known for Folk Music rather than the Roots/Americana/Country I normally favour; so things didn’t get off to a very good beginning. But…..there’s always a ‘but’……there was an intriguing photo of a quirkilly dressed beat combo set inside a vintage TV on the Press Release; which I normally don’t look at so early.
So; into the CD Player it went…….crackles, pops and whizzes came out of the speaker until a velvety male voice began ‘Ooohing and aahhhing” before crooning “This City got electricity /for the first time/when you came to me,” in a style reminiscent of Billy Fury, and the band sound quality too. The song, Electricity just blew me away……I’d not heard anything like it since…..maybe my Rock n Roll period in the mid 70’s when Showaddywaddy ruled the British airwaves.
WOW and WOAH…..the second track Reverberatin’ Love is full of Duane Eddy ‘Twang’ guitar; coupled to singer David Addison’s classy voice crooning again…..yes…..he croons; and croons in a way that will makes ladies go weak at the knees.
That was it for me……I immediately went onto Twitter declaring my undying love for The Strange Blue Dreams…..and nothing has changed in the ensuing three weeks.
What I love most about this album is the glorious ‘Retro’ feel to it; but instead of going for the obligatory Eddie Cochran/Gene Vincent 90 MPH sort of Rock and Roll, these five lads from Glasgow Town have opened a secret door on 1960’s British Rock & Roll with added Country tones and even a bit of Swing at one stage ; pretty much the music I grew up with, and I’m pleased to say they do themselves proud.
The album title makes an appearance in The Ballad of the Sun and the Moon; which sounds like it should have been on the soundtrack to an Alan Ladd Western; and if Quentin Tarantino hears it; it may still make an appearance in a film in the future.
It’s difficult for me not to just list every track with my notes next to the title; as everything is here on merit – All hits……no shit!
Even Mrs. Magpie looked up from her magazine one evening when the delicious Pretending Everything came on; and I don’t blame her for nodding her head along with the pleasing Waltz like tune and sweet lyrics.
This Twilight Zone isn’t the TV Theme; it’s actually got a bit of a Hawaiian lilt to it; and a set of lyrics that will make you want to cuddle the love of your life, and sway along long into the night.
There’s no denying that these songs are what they are because of singer David Addison’s unique voice; but the other four lads; Ross Wilson, Duncan Kennedy, David Rae and Richard Anderson ain’t no slouches either, they not only play their respective instruments like Nashville’s finest but know when to let the song takeover and not swamp the vocals; which says a lot for their lac of ego as this is a self-produced album.
No ‘one trick ponies’ they aren’t afraid to dabble in the Pop side of this iconic sound; with the glorious Up To The Stars and Jungle Drums which must be a hoot when heard live.
Picking a ‘favourite track’ has proved a nightmare; as last week it was Lyrebird, a quirky song unlike anything else here, and this morning it was the Film-Noir enhanced That’s The Place (I’m Falling) but I’m going for……..Towards The Warm Place; a Buddy Holly (or Shakin’ Stevens if you are my generation) influenced toe-tapping beauty that has actually had me dancing as I listened; until I saw my reflection!
Don’t let the band’s name nor the weird artwork on the album cover put you off; as they nearly did me…..because this group and their debut album are……bloody amazing from start to finish!

https://www.facebook.com/thestrangebluedreams/
Released October 20th 2017

JD McPherson – UNDIVIDED HEART & SOUL

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JD McPherson
UNDIVIDED HEART & SOUL
New West Records

It’s Not Just Rock & Roll; And I Like It!

It only seems like 5 minutes since Signs and Signifiers was released and JD McPherson was the ‘bright new thing’ of Rock & Roll; here we are 6 years later and he is releasing his third album.
A lot has happened in the intervening years; McPherson appears to be conquering the USA one town at a time and the music just gets better and better.
UNDIVIDED HEART & SOUL opens with a crashing guitar chord followed by JD going into his best Roy Orbison meets Ritchie Valens crooning mode, as he plays some raw and almost dirty guitar licks.
It’s fair to say he hasn’t rested on his laurels in the last couple of years; as his songwriting has certainly matured, with Crying’s Just a Thing That You Do and Style (Is a Losing Game) is pure R& R but shows a new and more melodic direction than his previous releases.
McPherson’s ballads are pure romance on vinyl; with Hunting For Sugar and Jubilee owing a lot more to the Everly Brothers than Elvis.
Don’t worry though…..the kid still makes his guitar growl and moan on the Diddleylicious Bloodhound Rock, then later on Under The Spell of The City Lights he combines a Hank B Marvin groove with a sizzling vocal performance.
While I adore quality Rock & Roll, it’s no good playing the same chords over and over again for fifty years; as Buddy Holly showed in his all too brief career. McPherson certainly knows and appreciates his heritage, but I’m thrilled to see and hear him not alienating his core fan-base; but still having the nerve to move out of the safety-zone with Indie influenced tracks like Let’s Get Out of Here While We’re Young and the fabulous Style (Is Just a Losing Game) which is good enough to be a crossover/breakout hit (or whatever the hip kids call these things).
That last song was very nearly our ‘favourite track’ but we’re going for the classy Lucky Penny, because it has a little bit of everything that is great about this album all rolled into a catchy 3 and a half minutes of unclouded heartbreak.
This another one of those albums that is cool and commercial in equal measures; which is quite an achievement in an industry that craves one or the other but very rarely both.

http://www.jdmcpherson.com

Released 6th October 2017

SINGLE OF THE DAY Lauren Ruth Ward – WELL HELL

lauren ruth ward

Lauren Ruth Ward
WELL HELL!

She might be new to us here at RMHQ but we’ve fallen in love with Lauren Ruth Ward’s straight-up, no-nonsense Rock & Roll single WELL HELL this morning. An exhilarating high speed journey in the spirit of the 70’s Rock we loved as school kids, that just grabs your full attention from the very first note; Lauren’s smoky yet electrifying voice hits you in the face and leave you wanting for more of her cheeky, timeless lyrics and incredible energy.

Ringo Starr – GIVE MORE LOVE

ringo x

Ringo Starr
GIVE MORE LOVE
Universal Records

Surprises Around Every Corner From Rock Royalty.

Ringo Starr holds a special place in the hearts of Mrs. Magpie and myself as his version of You’re 16 is ‘our song’ and a framed 7″ Single hangs in pride of place in our living room.
For the rest of you……he’s a BEATLE FOR GOD’S SAKE!!!!
Even today, nearly 60 years after the event Ringo’s drumming with the Beatles is still the benchmark for great timekeeping, rhythm and tempo; and for several years after the band’s break-up he was actually their most successful solo act #fact.
So; what has he got to offer in 2017?
A lot, actually.
Opening track We’re Back on the Road Again is as much fun as I’d hoped but also a whole lot rockier too; with Steve Lukather making his guitar sizzle as a certain Sir Paul McCartney gives the proceedings an extra portion of class on the bass guitar.
I really don’t want to ge bogged down in naming all the guest stars on each track; as they genuinely are a Who’s Who of the Rock Hierarchy…..as you would expect; and the production is diamond polished too.
The ballad Show Me The Way; finds Ringo in a melancholy mood on a tearjerker that will appeal to lovers of a certain vintage; and later the title track Give More Love follows a similar path; somehow the singer manages to save this intimate love song for ‘the world’ from becoming mushy and mawkish; which is quite some achievement.
King of the Kingdom dips it’s toe into the 80’s Reggae pond and has the potential to be a highlight of any Ringo Starr’s All-star Band concert; but personally I much prefer the rockier Electricity when Ringo looks back to his youth and the ‘Electricity’ he felt when he first heard Rock and Roll.
While I’d have preferred this to be 100% new songs; the inclusion of a couple of re-recorded and updated Hits.
Don’t Pass Me By and the Country-Fried You Can’t Fight Lightning are both fascinating in as much as they show even at his ripe old age, Ringo isn’t afraid to experiment and take risks.
Photograph; on the other hand isn’t a million miles different, if a tad slower and sultrier than the original and was actually a contender for ‘favourite song’.
The other re-do; Back Off Boogaloo is the song that will get most media attention as it is pieced together from an old 1/4″ reel to reel demo he recorded in 72 with George Harrison producing; and subsequently adding ‘magic’ from Jeff Lynne and Joe Walsh.
Then of course there is the absolute Stand-Out song, and very easily RMHQ Favourite……the cool Country Swing of So Wrong, For So Long; a co-write with local lad Dave Stewart and featuring enough pedal-steel and delicious harmonies to bring a tear to a glass eye.
History hasn’t been that kind to Ringo Starr, but GIVE MORE LOVE is a rollicking good way to spend an hour, smiling, dancing and on more than one occasion, having the opportunity to look at your ‘significant other’ and think, “that’s us he’s singing about.”
What’s not to like?

Released 15th September 2017
http://www.ringostarr.com/

Howlin’ Ric and the Rocketeers – TEARS BEFORE BEDTIME

ric tears

Howlin’ Ric and the Rocketeers
TEARS BEFORE BEDTIME
Gin House Records

21st Century Classic Rock n Roll…..And I LOVE IT!

Rock & Roll has evolved into many different shapes and sizes since it first frightened our Grandparents in the 1950’s and 60’s; and we here at RMHQ love 99% of it; but nothing sounds finer coming out of the office Hi-Fi than the likes of our mates Howlin’ Ric and the Rocketeers paying homage to those original pioneers; but tearing up the rule book and making that ‘sound’ appear as fresh and exciting as it must have done before I was even born.
This record of unquestionable delights comes racing out of the blocks with the feisty Secrets & Lies; a tub-thumping and toe-tapping quifftastic slice of Rhythm AND Blues that instantly had my pulse racing alongside the razzle-dazzle guitar; and a rootin’ and tootin’ sax made me want to dance on a Tuesday morning!
It’s no real surprise that the pace slackens for Danger In The Woods which follows; with Ric crooning ‘to his baby’ on a song that bizarrely reminded me of Buddy Holly, James Hunter……and Bruce Springsteen all wrapped up together.
Who doesn’t like a lovely Rock & Roll love song? Well; if you do you are going to love Kiss Me Sometime; as it’s the type of delightful ballad that will appeal to love lorn teenagers and frisky pensioners with equal measure; and that takes some doing.
The tempo and temperature rises again for track #4 Ain’t Gonna Leave; a tightly wrapped bittersweet ‘will she/won’t she leave him’ tale full of BIFF-BAFF-BOP drumming, a heart-attack inducing bass and some sizzling guitar playing that would make Link Wray proud; and that’s without Ric’s purring and pleading vocal performance.
Now I’m going to jump to One Last Drink which closes this exciting little EP; WOW…WOW…WOW…..imagine Little Richard, fronting the Shadows with the Haggis Horns blasting away in the background…..yep; really.
Now; drop back a track to find our favourite song here; and one that I had to play first as it’s the RMHQ Family Motto……Can’t Do Right, For Doing Wrong! Wahay….this 100mph, adrenaline fuelled Rhythm & Blues infused Rock & Roller is every inch as good as I’d hoped and was a show stopper when the band ‘ripped a new one into SummerTyne Festival’ when they played it there last month.
It’s nice to say that the band have actually moved on quite a bit since the release of Cannonball their last EP’ and are prepared to take risks with their music; and not just play the same old same old for the Rockabilly circuit.
Bloody Love it from start to finish.

Released 9th August 2017

Various Artists – RED HOT (A MEMPHIS CELEBRATION OF SUN RECORDS)

red hot 1

Various Artists
RED HOT (A MEMPHIS CELEBRATION OF SUN RECORDS)
Americana Music Society

Great Music For an Even Better Cause.

Anything with the Sun Records Label attached has to be of interest, hasn’t it? Interest – yes; good? Not always as my record collection will testify; but the source this ‘charity album’ came from was unimpeachable so into the hi-fi it went and YOWZA, YOWZA…..YOWZA!
Everything here was recorded in the two legendary Sun studios for this album with all proceeds going to aid St. Jude Children’s Hospital (children’s cancer specialists btw) in down-town Memphis.
I’d not heard of John Paul Keith before, but his rip-snorting Rock & Roll song Red Cadillac and a Black Moustache straddles Class and kitsch with comfort; and sounds like it would be perfect for an future Happy Days soundtrack.
This is followed by the ever wonderful Valerie June with Jimbo Mathus and Amy LaVere on background vocals, swooning their collective way through Sure To Fall (in love with you) which made me unknowingly clutch my heart half way through. Peggy Lee eat your heart out!
This being a love letter to Sun, we get a lot more authentic toe-tapping and hip-swinging Rock & Roll from not just the title track Red Hot by ‘The Million Dollar Quartet’ but also  Shawn Camp on Lonely Weekends and Jimbo Mathus truly tears the joint apart with High School Confidential.
Of course the Blues have to be here too; and what better servant to add class and cool than Mr Bobby Rush? Oh Lordy, Lord he nearly broke my heart the first time I heard his raw and emotional Tough Titty…..this is the Blues with a capital B, and reminded me what a truly great singer he has always been.
I won’t go into too many details of who the house band are but brothers Luther and Cody Dickinson are at the helm; and Luther gets to close the record with an epic version of Moanin’ at Midnight (Pts 1 & 2) which lasts a total of 13 minutes and not a second is wasted; especially when Lightnin’ Malcolm makes Johnny Winter and Stevie Ray Vaughan sound like amateurs the way he plays that geetar!
While I hardly know of Amy LaVere; I’m aware she can sing a bit,; but wasn’t quite prepared for her sassy and rather sexy rendition of Ten Cats Down which is very much the RMHQ ‘Favourite Track’ on an exceptional album that doesn’t have a bad; or even poor track on it.
What more can I say? This is a wonderful album for an even better cause; there is pretty much something here to titillate every regular reader and even if there isn’t, it’s a charity/hospital well worth supporting anyways.

https://www.stjude.org/

http://redhotalbum.com/listen/

Released June 16th 2017

Chuck Berry – CHUCK

chuck berry 1

Chuck Berry
CHUCK
Dualtone/Decca Records

Enough Reelin’ and a Rockin’ To Bring Out The Marty McFly In All of Us.

It’s always up for a drunken discussion as to who actually invented Rock & Roll; but even the pedants among you have to admit that Chuck Berry has to be a contender; and it’s a given that Johnny B Goode is the greatest actual Rock & Roll song of all time…..FACT! It’s even in a capsule on the moon and who can forget the bit in Back To The Future when Marty did a ‘duck walk’ playing a Gibson ES-345 and the guy made a phone call to ‘cousin Charles’?
So, any new album from Mr. Berry has to be worthy of our attention here at RMHQ, hasn’t it?
The opening song on Berry’s first album since 1979 (!), Wonderful Woman is a whole lot better than I dared to expect and a whole lot more Bluesier too. The vocals and guitar are trademark Chuck Berry, but the delightful ‘loved up’ lyrics, wailing harmonica, honky-tonk piano and the funky back-beat had my toes tapping and lips mouthing the words while I played air-guitar along with three generations of Berry men are pure Chicago Blues.
Track #2 is the single Big Boys that was coincidentally scheduled for release the week the week Berry died; and would have been a world wide hit regardless of the timing. Boom-Boom-Boom….. this is a saucy Chuck Berry song with a Twinkle in its eye, in the same way that My Ding-a-Ling is still my ‘guilty pleasure.’ A quality dance tune of the finest order and one that genuinely sits up there with his legendary hits.
I have to take a deep breath here, as not every track here is any where near that high quality threshold; the pop-Reggae of Jamaica Moon and live recording of 3/4 Time (Enchiladas) in particular could and should have been left in the studio. Sorry, but it’s true.
But; when Berry is good he is great…….Lady B Goode uses ‘that’ melody for a lively response song to Johnny B Goode and who would deny Chuck Berry the opportunity to regenerate his classic beat?
There are plenty of pleasant surprises here too, with Berry slowing things down on the lip smacking and hip grinding She Still Loves You; and on Dutchman he regales us by narrating a ‘talking Blues’ worthy of Robbie Robertson or David Olney.
I keep using the word ‘surprised’ here and I have been, many times as this is a whole lot better than it has any right to be after all these years and at Berry’s age while writing and recording; which brings us to the two songs which tie for the ‘Favourite Song’ title; first there is the soulful and melancholia of Darlin’ where Chuck writes and sings his own epitaph in a way I would never have expected in a hundred years; then there is Eyes of a Man which closes the 10 song album. A slow Gospel infused Blues that reduced me to tears the first, second and third times I heard it and while his Classic, bouncy Rock & Roll dance songs will be how he will be remembered; this song is a man coming to terms with his life and how I will now remember Charles Anderson Edward Berry 1026-2017 RIP.

PS #1. Great artwork on the cover and the booklet is worth the admission price alone.

PS #2 Thanks to Markus Rill for the Marty McFly reference 😉

Released June 16th 2017
http://www.chuckberry.com/

Willie Nile POSITIVELY BOB

willie 5

Willie Nile
POSITIVELY BOB
River House Records

CBGB’s Punk Rock & Roller Blows The Dust Off Dylan’s Classics.

I can’t stand Bob Dylan’s voice…..never could; but have always appreciated the Genius that created so many musical masterpieces between 62 and 76; so when I heard a whisper that after playing at a party to celebrate Dylan’s 75th birthday last year RMHQ favourite Willie Nile was recording a record of his favourite Dylan songs I was rubbing my hands with glee.
Before we go any further, any boring Dylanophiles will hate this on principal, so should stop reading now. Gone? Good.
What else could Our Willie start the album with but the timeless The Times They Are A-Changing? Nile’s band apply the musical defibrillator and turn this hoary old Folk song into a Modern day anthem that should be played at 100 decibels outside Trump Towers on the hour, every hour!
Without time to take breath the band fire up Rainy Day Women #12 & #35 making it something that the Clash could have played as an encore; but didn’t.
With a 1,000 or more songs to choose from Nile has somehow whittled everything down to just 10; and put his own inimitable Doc Marten stamp on Blowin’ In The Wind, Hard Rain and Subterranean Homesick Blues; but it’s a couple of other inclusions that have tickled my fancy.
Perhaps the aficionados will tell me that Love Minus Zero/No Limit is similar to the original; but Willie Nile’s gives it a nice modern lick of Americana paint; making it very easy on these jaded ears; and it’s a similar story with You Ain’t Going Nowhere, which does sound like the Byrds version I knew from my teens, but with added joie de vivre and a massive shot of NYC adrenaline.
As I stopped being force fed Dylan music when Brother Magpie #3 left the nest in 1976 I’m deliberately not aux fait with his latter works; so the inclusion of Every Grain of Sand and Abandoned Love may (I say ‘may’) make me review my thoughts on Dylan’s latter works; but more than likely I will stick to listening to Willie Nile bringing new/old music to my ears.
After all these years I’m a bit embarrassed to say I’ve loved this album; thankfully owing as much to Willie Nile’s amazing voice; which brings me to the two songs that tie for the title of RMHQ ‘Favourite’.
One is an oldie that I only vaguely recognised; I Want You, with Willie giving it large on his acoustic guitar while the band roll along behind him now sounds as fresh as a glass of cold home-made lemonade; with just as much tang in the after taste.
The other is a song I’d not heard before; Abandoned Love. Seemingly a very ‘rare’ song; but a majestic choice by Mr. Nile as it perfectly closes the door on a refreshingly dandy set of interpretations of a tiny fraction of Bob Dylan’s back catalogue and Willie sounds like he was having a great time recording them.

PS
The album artwork is pretty damn fine too!

Released June 23rd 2017
http://www.willienile.com/

Los Straitjackets – WHAT’S SO FUNNY ABOUT PEACE, LOVE and UNDERSTANDING

los straight nick

Los Straitjackets
WHAT’S SO FUNNY ABOUT PEACE, LOVE and UNDERSTANDING
Yep Roc

Legendary Instrumental Guitar Band Pay Homage To A Legendary Songwriter.

You thought it couldn’t and perhaps shouldn’t be done; but it has …….. Los Straitjackets; one of the most imaginative, swaggering and strange band in the world have re-invented 13 Nick Lowe songs as instrumentals What’s not to like?
They rip up the rule book by turning opening track Shake & Pop into a surftastic slice of 60’s Pop then follow it with more than a nod to The Shadows with their take on my favourite Nick Lowe song, All Men Are Liars making it virtually unrecognisable. Okay; all the notes are there……just not necessarily in the right order!
All I could think of listening to this album was ……Quentin Tarantino is gonna LOVE IT! Everything sounds like it should be on one of his soundtracks……..I can just about picture the dance scene with Tom Hanks and Judi Dench shaking their butts to the funky Half a Boy and Half a Man; a car chase around the mean streets of Chicago involving Mark Wahlburg with I Live on a Battlefield on the car radio.
I Read a Lot sounds like it should be in a Spy Movie; conjuring up images of men in Gannex overcoats looking mysterious in the murky shadows of a European city late at night.
Hahaha……seriously (sort of).
This album is everything you would expect; and more…….there are song title here I’d totally forgot about and after hearing the outrageously bang-up versions of Raging Eyes and You Inspire Me I was obliged to pull out the original LPs and revel in Nick Lowe’s genius for a whole afternoon.
Oh……Cruel to be Kind is slowed right down to a Waltz pace and made me smile for the solid 3.18 minutes, as it washed over me like a summer breeze.
Then, of course there is the title track, WHAT’S SO FUNNY ABOUT PEACE, LOVE and UNDERSTANDING, one of the greatest British Pop songs of all time and a song I want played at my funeral. A very brave song to cover in this format; but everything hinges on it and…….well……they pull it off with aplomb! Heavy on the bass and tambourine but with some guitar that Hank B Marvin would be proud of slicing through like a stiletto through hot butter.
This album is not just great fun and not just the soundtrack to your Sunday afternoon; as it was mine but expect it to be on constant rotation in your favourite Hipster cafe all Summer long!

PS The cover artwork is amazing and I’d like it as a t-shirt please!

Released May 19th 2017