Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

Insane Times – Various Artists [#634]


61FhX7u36eLInsane Times: 25 Psychedelic Artyfacts from the EMI Vaults is a compilation album of really odd music. I’d say completely odd but the inclusion of Bonzo Dog, Yardbirds and Kevin Ayres kind of bring the oddness down a bit. It is though, very much the Psychadelic Rock version of the folk anthology Gather in the Mushrooms

Amongst the bands appearing in this compilation are Mandrake Paddle Steamer, Simon Dupree & the Big Sound, The Lemon Tree and The Orange Bicycle with some oddly familiar yet new to many songs. I saw this compilation as a gateway to new-to-me and interesting acts from the psychedelic era, about the time when the Beatles were farting about with Sergeant Pepper and lots of drugs and indeed, there are subtle beginnings of some huge prog acts within this album and bands in which young prog stars cut their teeth.

Very much an interesting selection.

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Electric Shocks – Roger Ruskin Spear [#420]

R-2236186-1271590213.jpegFormer Bonzo Ruskin Spear, with his first solo LP.

Clearly audible are the influences of the Bonzos, Python, Milligan and the era’s dadaist comedy mixed with the familiar popular big band songs of a hauntalogical pre-war era such as All by Yourself in the Moonlight and Make Yourself a Happiness Pie.

This is another album that, had there been no music download free-for-all in the noughties, I would never have known existed. I was already a fan of Bonzo, but it would have been unlikely I’d have been standing in Church Street’s HMV  flicking through the R section looking for this gem.

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Cornology – Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band [#311]

Chronology - Bonzo dog doo dah band

Seeing Bonzo Dog live in the noughties was one of those defining “closure” moments in life for me.

I was living in Barnsley at the time and I drove over the Pennines to see them especially in the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. For the entire duration of the gig I sat grinning, amused and yet saddened that I was watching one of the last concerts for the band, two of whom had died and most of the remaining members were on their last legs.

Still it was an amazing night. But before then I had only this album to remind me of their greatness. Cornology is a three volume album consisting of the bands 5 albums and some of their solo work.

Divided into Intro (formed of Gorilla and  The Doughnut In Granny’s Greenhouse), Outro (Tadpoles and Keynsham) and Dog Ends (solo bits and Let’s Make Up and Be Friendly)  the album carried me through my first stint in university and beyond. Bizarre humour of the British kind often lost on the youth of today. Skilfully crafted music derived from old gramophone whimsies brought kicking and screaming back into modern music times for all to hear.

It was this album that began my obsession with rights free Gramophone recordings and introduced me to music that most people would find offensive today. But more of that later. Probably.

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The Bestiality of the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band – Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band [#177]

The Bestiality of the Bonzo Dog Band - Bonzo Dog Doo Dah BandThe Bestiality of the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band – Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band

Madness. This is a compilation of an eccentric British nonsensical band. The band that invented Steampunk. The band that invented Hipsterism. The band that sits down with a nice cup of tea and tidy waxed moustache in the middle of a battlefield.

If you are unfamiliar with Bonzo Dog you should be. Deliciously silly. Scrumptiously British. With a nice tang of the absurd and a rich saucy aftertaste of the chaotic.

I had the good fortune to see B3DB a few years ago, sans Viv Stanshall of course, but it was a memorable show and still timeless.

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