Tag: 2014

The Guardian Dr Crotchety Cerys Matthews Last Man On Earth Big Boss Man

Here are my future classic picks: First, Frazey Ford’s new album, Indian Ocean, recorded in Memphis with some of Al Green’s band. Yes, it follows in the footsteps of Springfield’s Dusty In Memphis(1969), but it’s stunning – Ford’s bird-like vocals swoop eccentrically through spacious but bang-on arrangements. Second: Big Boss Man’s Last Man On Earth

Blues Matters Last Man On Earth Album Review Big Boss Man

Four-piece Big Boss Man return with a new set of recordings that (whilst loosely falling within the soul/jazz genre) defy categorisation. Hailing from all corners of the country, their music is eclectic to say the least, yet manages to avoid sounding the least bit contrived or disjointed at any point

Lead single Aardvark is a funky soul number that sounds like it could’ve been lifted straight out of a Blues Brothers’ set complete with whirling Hammond organ, wailing horns and gospel handclaps juxtaposed against frenetic Latin rhythms, it’s a risky gumbo of musical styles but pays off a treat Likewise, the title track, featuring guest vocalist Princess Freesia, is a jazzy bossa nova that nonchalantly struts a very
fine line between Curtis Mayfield soul and out and out James Bondtheme. Hail Caesar has a touch of the Parisian experimentalism of Serge
Gainsbourg about it whilst also calling to mind the cascading piano lines of The Doors’ Riders On The Storm.

Changing Faces is another surprise departure; into a folksy psychedelia akin to the Zombies or Jefferson Airplane. There are of
course straighter moments that stick closer to the ‘soul-band’ formula, such as Crimson 6T’s which has more than a touch of The Meters
about it and these are more than competent contributions to the canon. However, it’s the sheer diversity on display here that sets Big Boss Man
apart from their contemporaries.

There’s a brief mid-eastern Sitar segue in the form of Bombay Mix, a Bretchian waltz Le Dernier Homme Sur Terre, and the sci-fi psyche rock
of Project No.6 (of which even Pierre Henry would be proud). It would be easy, and somewhat cynical, to state that the band have included
something for everyone here, especially as such musical diplomacy can so often produce cold results ultimately of no interest to anyone. Last
Man On Earth is more an example of a band including everything for no-one but themselves, and creating something unique and unmissable
in the process.

R2 Rock & Reel Album Reviews David Woodcock Debut

Southend songwriter David Woodcock inhabits a genre destined to be described as ‘quintessentially English’. His pub-piano-led songs are smalltown vignettes populated with wry observations and tragicomic saloon-bar emotions. It’s well executed, set against a musical backdrop of Modish pop, immediately marking him out as the grubby-kneed nephew of Madness and Blur. Great-uncle Ray Davies’s Postal Order, however, has yet to arrive.

The velvet-curtain glam of the carefully crafted epic ‘The Adventures Of You And Me’ and ‘End Of An Era’ are particular highlights, recalling Ian Hunter and Bowie celebrating Anthony Newley. Proper respect, too, for closer ‘I Forgot To Miss You’, invoking the spirit of legendary Essex boozer, the Railway Hotel.

Record Collector Album Reviews David Woodcock Debut

No mere cheep thrills


A run-down boozer on the Estuary. Bare bulbs, dusty windows, plonking piano. Do places like this still exist? It looks a bit dodgy to be honest. People are dossing me as I go in. On stage – though I’ve seen a bigger platform on shoes – there’s a scruffy geezer, hairy nipples showing, banging the keyboard with his boots. That’s what the stares are about: you’ve discovered the punters’ secret. Its name is David Woodcock.

I’ve heard more “The new Ray Davieses” than I’ve had lager tops, and you can throw in some Madnesses, Ian Duries and early Albarns too. So I’m not about to say that, see, but I’ve just implied it. David Woodcock is a talent. He plays pianna, guitar, bass, Moog, but what he does best is sing his songs. While it’s in the classic Brit songwriter tradition, blah blah, David Woodcock lives in the present, being dumped by text, terrified yet tempted by teenage mums, doing BOGOF shopping, watching love peel off the wall and fall on the laminate flooring, and feels guilty about not feeling anything. Relatively Single Man, Girl I Used To Know, I Forgot To Miss You – every observation is honed to perfection. Sore, spiky, cocky, resigned, brilliant yet without expectation, you need to hear this. Don’t fancy it, mate? Someone else will.

Monkey Picks September Playlist Last Man On Earth Big Boss Man

8.  Big Boss Man – “Aardvark” (2014)

The new Big Boss Man album, Last Man on Earth, sees the band continue to chance their arm away from the safety of their well-established funky soul-jazz instrumentals by incorporating elements of folk and psych rock to the mix plus a few more vocal tracks. As laudable as that is, and they remind me of Mother Earth in that mode, the highlight of Last Man on Earth is the single “Aardvark”; with swinging Hammond, punchy horns, bongo groove and soul claps it’s Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames at the Flamingo revisited. 

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