Posts Tagged ‘hooks vine and sinister’

Hooks, Vine & Sinister (the new album!)

The Cork

One year on, and we’re exactly 12 months closer to being six feet under. But on the bright side, there’s always a new Twonkey show, and a new album… Last year Mr. Twonkey shook it up by putting out Giddy World on a USB stick and included a 13 minute Radio Play at the end. This year, he has another USB release, cork-shaped, and it contains an absolute bounty of material. A new album, Hooks, Vine and Sinister (a compilation of 11 old tracks, and 5 new ones), a splendiferous full length Mp4 video of his last show, Twonkey’s Private Restaurant, an audiobook of his novella, Itchy Grumble, as read by the author itself, and a bonus short comedy video and 3 tracks from his other album of the year (!!!) with The Leg. Phew!

We’ll look at the Twonkey Hits album by Paul Vickers and Friends first:

Hooks vs Hunchbacks 3rd attempt

*****

The New Tracks

Just five, but we’re talking vintage Vickers here. At least two of them would have made this album anyway (the Best Of section) had they been released earlier.

This Is Showbiz – We loved this from the moment we heard the first note back in January. It was played at the end of the performances of his play Jennifer’s Robot Arm (strictly as outro music, not an actual part of the show). Instantly memorable (sung by folk at the bar afterwards on a single hearing), we initially thought this jaunty number could qualify under ‘sinister’ with the line ‘a vacancy where a hearse should be’. But the line turns out to be the more jovial ‘a vacancy where a heart should be’. Actually, that’s still quite bleak now that we think about it. It’s another collaboration with Hamish ‘Hot Beryl’ Hawk and Steven ‘Victor Pope’ Vickers. Catchy as the proverbial fuck.

Mugulvery’s Farm – Wow, another bona fide Vickers classic. One of his best ever vocals, which we can only describe as a drunken Vincent Price showing off his best Barry Gibb falsetto. In a perfect world, this would be a smash hit. Collaborator is ex-DotR bandmate Grant Pringle, who is also behind The Flying Tailor (heard in The Hits section). Quite a one-two whammy. It’s almost 15 years since this pair were in a band together, but they’re still dynamite. Our favourite track.

Raspberry – this one is actually credited as ‘Raspberry 2014‘, and may be an updated version of a much older track, especially as collaborator Andy Currie has been off the scene for a few years now. Likely to date from his Recording The Impossible days. It debuted in London, October 2014. Short techno track with slowed-down vocals. He sounds utterly demented. Not for the first time.

Pencils for a Broom (Looney Tunes) – great little guitar number, the lyrics telling the story laid out in Twonkey’s Stinking Bishop. Energetic as hell to fit the subject matter. Wonderful stuff.

The Architect – this one starts with spoken word and orchestral tones, with the vocal playing over itself before breaking into a proper song It’s remarkably similar in structure to an obscure Duran Duran track called Drive By, which we’d be surprised if anyone involved in this had ever heard. Bloody Philistines. It’s a collaboration with Massimiliano Puddu, who did the Italian bits on Hands Off Mussolini, so we can only assume he’s Italian. And that it was he who personally added or inspired all the dubious lyrics about the Italians inventing everything. Like Joe Mantegna does at the start of Godfather III before Andy Garcia shoots him dead like the lying prick he is. And we wonder… Did Mr. Vickers misread those lyrics when adding the voce? There’s a bizarre line ‘Pleasure was discovered by a monk in a drain in Lazio,’ which we think was supposed to be ‘Pleasure was discovered by a monk in Adrian in Lazio.’

Christ, that poor kid.


The Hits!

Right, onto the ‘compiled’ tracks. Paul has been involved in 13 music albums now (5 x Dawn of the Replicants, 1 x Pluto Monkey, 3 x with The Leg and 4 x Twonkey Soundtracks), not counting the odd extended EP, compilation or two recordings that have musical elements, but are basically comedy albums (1). This release features Eleven of the Best musical selections from the last four Twonkey albums (Oom-Pah!, Nest of Knickers, Gasp! and Giddy World).

Now, we’ll concede Mr Vickers seems to master every discipline he attempts. But is choosing his Best Eleven a step too far? What made him wake up one morning and decide he was Sir Alex Ferguson?

“a real jockeys ale ~ makes yer knees fall in ~ Hot Beryl ~ she’s a stiff lay-day”

This is a selection we couldn’t possibly give anything less than five stars to. But that’s more about the strength (‘in depth’, as all those pundit pricks say every two minutes) of the material he chose from. We would probably change about half of the selection.

Most criminally, there’s no Stan Laurel, nothing less than Paul & Pierre’s absolute masterpiece! It’s not quite like buying the Greatest Hits of Renée and Renato(2) and discovering there’s no Save Your Love, but still…

Anyway, we think we can beat Paul with a simple 4-4-2 (restricting our love of Paul & Pierre to half of the players) and don’t mind laying out our team-sheet here. It’s a squad overflowing in belief. Read it and weep.

Hunchbacks, Mine and Definitive

11 tracks (2 subs)

In goal, it has to be Mother Shipton. If it goes to penalties, she’s gonna guess the right way. Bottom of the World kinda picks her own place at the back. We need to fill central defence with some aerial power, so Sophie The Aeronaut gets a nod as well as The Flying Tailor, who’s great with headers (off tall buildings), and Fizzy Lemonade who sounds like he should be faster than he is.

On the left of midfield, we’ll have Pissed As A Postman to provide good delivery to the forwards. More central will be Lon Chaney (Revisited), but if it becomes a snow / orange ball situation he’ll get the fear and be next to useless. We’d replace him with the weather appropriate Crimp Drizzle. Next to Lon is Lillian Gish, since we reckon that pair of contemporaries might ‘know each other’s moves’ (wink, wink) and avoid the square-peg / round-hole criticism that dogged Gerrard & Lampard (3). And The Night My Lip Swelled Up should add some Keane-esque hard edge to the central stronghold.

Up front has to be Stan Laurel for speed, what with his lean frame from all them fun-runs. If he’s lost some pace by injury time, we will replace lean-for-lean with Easy On The Mayo. And for expert finishing (on at least two albums now), it’s got to be crowd favourite Hot Beryl.

It could be hair dryer time at Twonkey Towers… takes us back to the old mixtape days when you’d consider yourself a musical genius after compiling one, momentarily forgetting that you didn’t actually create a note of it. If that affliction still applies when you’re a grown man, guess what – you’re a DJ!  Whatever the selection, Twonkey’s 2015 release is a thing of utter beauty. Count the days till you can bag your own ‘cork’.

  1. Call ourselves fans? There’s actually TWO musical numbers on the first Twonkey album Fucking Storys, a second hidden at the end of the last track. We’re sure we looked for something in the silence originally and found nothing. So imagine our surprise when listening a few months back, getting distracted and failing to turn it off at the end, only for the CD to come back to life with an additional track… nothing less than an earlier version of The Catshop Catastrophe! We’d been sitting on that badboy for four years, totally oblivious. For the record though, it’s not a patch on the fab Gasp! re-recording.
  2. Gosh, we made the huge mistake of looking up Renée on Wikipedia for spelling purposes. It only turns out that the Italian bombshell was an English cleaning lady with the un-enchanting name of Hilary Gibbon! And she was even replaced by a model for the video, the fat cow!
  3. Dogged, as in ‘followed around’, not the post-George Michael meaning.