Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Happy Monsters LP - Funk for children!

I've always had a soft spot for children's records that dates back to Rolf Harris' Two Little Boys 7" and an LP by Pinky & Perky that were jointly owned by me and my older brother. The Pinky And Perky LP had a version of The Kinks' Apeman on. I reckon it now resides in my mum and dad's loft. One of these days I'm going to get up there and dig that beauty out. I always root kid's records when they're in with a chance of the Christmas number one slot too, if a children's record can't be number one at Christmas then there's something wrong. It seems po-faced and churlish of us to wish otherwise.

Those seeking some vintage and slightly creepy children's records should check out the excellent Fuzzy Felt Folk compilation that came out on Trunk Records a few years ago. Sinister early '70s acid folk for kids, great stuff. Trunk Records also recently released an album of music recorded for the classic kid's TV show Fingerbobs, also well worth tracking down.

I was a happy man to find this LP called Happy Monsters in my local charity shop for the princely sum of £1. Released on the American Happy House label and dating back to the early '70s. Side one features a story about Betty and Bobby meeting some friendly monsters in the land of Ooog. Flip it over to side two and you're treated to five instrumental funk tracks augmented with klaxons, quacks and horns. Versions of CC Rider, Kiss Me Goodnight and perhaps best of all James Brown's Papa's Got A Brand New Bag. Click on the music player and take a listen, you'll never hear the original in the same way ever again. Please feel free to use the comments section to recommend you own favourite kid's records. Stay young folks!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Lemon Jelly - Ramblin' Man (2002)

In honour of me finally renewing my passport after a couple of years dithering I'm doing a post on one of the greatest travel songs ever. And also one of the best list songs too, right up there with Hello by The Beloved. Now I'm not a very well travelled chap, in fact I sometimes get a nosebleed walking to the corner shop for a newspaper, but there's something about this track that stirs a desire in me to go-a-globetrottin'. Despite its title conjuring up images of worn out shoes and dusty roads, it's decidedly more Dan Cruickshank in spirit than it is Woody Guthrie, and that's a large part of its appeal. 

(Click over the jump for more on Lemon Jelly's Ramblin' Man.)

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

The Primitives - Echoes And Rhymes

Coventry's indie popsters return with a feast of obscure '60s covers.

Wait around long enough and it seems every band eventually reforms. The allure of the stage and public adoration is just too much to resist. Whether it's The Stone Roses or The Beach Boys, Cast, The Verve, Pulp, Blur or Dodgy, it seems they just can't help get back back together for one more bite of the cherry. I'm not knocking this at all, in fact I'm quite looking forward to seeing The Stone Roses at Heaton Park. What does gall me though is their tendency and desperation with any new material to attempt to prove what geniuses they were all the time, and to hint at our foolishness in not noticing it. Refreshing then that indie guitar band The Primitives have instead chosen to release an album of obscure '60s pop tunes. There's a dignity and sense of realism in this that I like. The resulting album is something of a triumph made all the more so as taste gets the better of ego. Much like The Detroit Cobras who only ever release versions of old soul and R&B tracks, The Primitives have delved into the world of lesser celebrated '60s beat groups and singers in search of the material that makes up their comeback LP Echoes And Rhymes.

Click over the jump for more on The Primitives' Echoes And Rhymes.