Hot Beryl – new single!

I’ll be reviewing Paul Vickers’ entire CD oeuvre on here beginning very shortly. There’s a right way and a wrong way to do that. I’ll be doing it in reverse chronological order, beginning with his stunning current release Oom-pah! all the way back to his debut when we might wonder who he blew to get a recording contract.

Oom-pah! was initially sold after the Twonkey’s Castle shows in August 2011 but is now available for sale on the SL Records website, with a single, Hot Beryl, available as a free download: The last single I bought was from Woolworths and the bastards made me pay for it. I’m glad they carked it.

Liner notes are sparse on the back of the Oom-pah! CD but Hot Beryl is the only track where two musical collaborators are credited. If I hadn’t read that, I might have assumed it was all self-performed on a programmable keyboard. It’s easily the least sophisticated sounding track on the album (not in a bad way). I’m no expert on music production, but it sounds like he was going for a Butlins houseband style for the backing track, then went for broke on the vocal.

The Beryl of the title is not a girl, but a drink of ale. It’s an old and tested bit of wrong footing, first used by Michael Jackson on Ben. That was a song about a rat and not, as well all thought, an ode to his best friend (whom he planned to cryogenically freeze for 20 years before thawing him out for some slap’n’tickle). The Beryl line ‘seven Tuesdays in one week, and all of them Tuesdays I was asleep’ also reminds one of Jacko’s medicinal needs.

Hot Beryl is one of those wonderfully catchy numbers you’ll be humming for weeks. It really should become a Hogmanay staple, with people only partaking of the half-lager-half-gin concoction on the night of the year when the medical fraternity are already on Defcon 1.

There is a ‘remix’ included with the single, in both vocal and instrumental versions. I’ve never been sure about the use / misuse of the word ‘remix’. Here is the Wikipedia definition: A remix is an alternative version of a recorded song, made from an original version. Prince uses the term even when it relates to a track he has re-recorded from the ground up (often radically different). Tori Amos was sampled in a dance track all the way to number one, but for whatever reason she got the main credit and it went down as a ‘remix’. In Hot Beryl’s case, the track may indeed be made from the elements of Hot Beryl, but ultimately it bears no relation to the Vickers track. The DaVinci Code was made from mixing the same elements that created Hamlet after all. I know nothing about Clutch Daisy, but he made a startling impression on the Oom-pah! album, taking an already impressive number and creating something else which, if anything, was even more beautiful. On Hot Beryl, however, it sounds like he’s just mucking around, twisting the lyrics in the mix for cheap giggles.

So what are you waiting for? Download Hot Beryl right now, and then download Oom-pah! It’s only a fiver for chrissakes!! The single isn’t really representative of the album in the slightest, but nothing possibly could be.


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