Friday, 19 June 2009

What's Kickin' Vol 4

It's that tine again. Another compilation, out on Stove Pony, from the East London combination of What's Cookin' and Mule Freedom. I've had the CD for a couple of weeks and I think it' possibly the best so far.

From the alt.ska of Smokey Angle Shades' 'Don't Leave Me' to the magical 'Mildsensations' from The Mild Sensations nineteen tracks later it's all strong stuff. There's our old buddy, Barracuda, and Bucketfull scribe Jeremy Gluck with 'Buried Not Dead', The Ugly Guys, with former Kursaals Paul Shuttleworth and Vic Collins on board, and Graham Larkbey with his splendid neo-pub rock revisiting the glory days of Ducks Deluxe and the late-70s Groovies.

Then there's 'Mercy II', an as-yet unreleased track from everyone's current faves The Wolf People, and 'If Your Lips Move You're Lying' from Matt Hill aka Quiet Loner. Not to mention Stove Pony's own Lucky Strikes with 'Morning Light' from their just-released The Chronicles Of Solomon Quick album.

Wednesday night there was a launch party over at the Sheepwalk in Leytonstone. Eight of the artistes did short sets in the packed and sweltering upstairs room.

The bluegrass trio Ghost Town Showdown kicked off showcasing their murder ballad 'Little Glass Of Wine'; the tale of a particularly disastrous fit of pique and its aftermath. Matt Hill then hushed the room with 'Get Me Johnny Cash On The Phone', and then had everyone laughing at 'Lips Move, as witty as John Wesley Harding we thought.

Andrew Mueller then played 'Do You Have A Sister?', one of the stand-outs on the album but a little diminished sans band. Lance Baldock of Cusack and Matt Boulter turned out to be The Midsensations and their beautiful instrumental sounded just as fine live as it does on the record.

Then a little vignette, and probably the set of the night, from Graham Larkbey And The Escape Committee. Their ‘Won’t Wait Forever For You’ took us straight back to 1978 and closing your eyes you could almost conjure Chris and Cyril. The Henry Brothers recalled radio hours of yesteryear with their dead-accurate and ever-enjoyable Louvin/Stanley Brothers invocations. Dan Raza did a speedy solo slot, and then Smokey Angle Shades ended up the proceedings with a slightly longer set. I guess after carrying their piano upstairs Stephen was going to get his money's worth out of them.

Some good nights coming up there soon too. Wolf People on July 1st and Barry Melton on 16th.

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