Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

The A1111….and Other ones – John Shuttleworth [#631]

Unknown-5One-trick Pony John Shuttleworth’s latest album.

You might know Graham Fellows as Jilted John or in his Northern persona John Shuttleworth. Simplistic easy listening with a heavy dose of Northern British humour. I bought this album after seeing Shuttleworth live in Milton Keynes.

An amusing musical folly.

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In a Moment…Ghost Box – Various Artists [#619]

Unknown-1Ghost Box. The stable from where delights such as Belbury Poly, Broadcast and Focus Group hail. In a Moment…Ghost Box is a compilation of some of the most awesome hauntological music you’ll ever hear. If you’re looking to relive those summer holidays in Scarfolk or those school gatherings around the TV in a cabinet on stilted wheels, then this is what you want to listen to.

Invoking memories of a prenuclear holocaust society, crap video graphics and lots of nylon sweaters, the album is a showcase for many different bands that come under the Ghost Box label’s protective cloak. An excellent starting place for people wanting to explore music of its type.

This album is definitely a gateway album. Though probably to another dimension rather than hard drugs. I suppose that depends on your outlook on life. It is also one of the main reasons why there was a hiatus of the Music Project last year. Having obtained the compilation, I then discovered I had actually bought more albums since starting the project and they had been omitted because they didn’t show on my list. Frustrated by not having a completely alphabetical list of albums, I’ve now decided it doesn’t really matter and only a few OCD readers will be upset by the out of sequence post that will follow this but I’m sure you’ll forgive me when you hear how awesome From an Ancient Star is.

 

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Has Been – William Shatner [#570]

For those unfamiliar with William Shatner, you might know him as the original Captain Kirk from the original Star Trek or maybe as T J Hooker or the priest from Horror at 37000 Feet. Maybe you might know William Shatner from his sci-fi novels, TekWar . Regardless, what you might not know is that like many other stars of stage and screen, Bill has turned his hand to music.

Shatner’s first album, Transformed Man, was received and ridiculed by many as Shatner’s “singing” style amounted to nothing more than speaking the lyrics to the songs. Surprisingly, if you just accept it as a style, it does actually work well.

I really enjoyed the quirkiness of Transformed Man so when I heard he was working on a collaboration with Ben Folds I was really excited. The fruit of the collaboration is Has Been. Possibly the most famous song on the album is the cover of Pulp’s Common People but there are many other absolute gems here too.

The title track, Has Been is an amusing slant at the “I can do better” people, while the song That’s Me Trying (a song about a father who’s never been there) never fails to raise a smile. The whole album is a priceless gem.

 

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Harry Roy Collection – Harry Roy and his Orchestra [#569]

harryroyhisband-theregoesthatsongagainBack in the age when the phrase “big band swingers” didn’t raise eyebrows or cause puerile sniggers at the back of the class, the titans of popular music were the orchestra leaders. Ray Noble and Glenn Miller are two of the biggest big band swingers, but possibly the most talented was clarinettist and orchestra leader Harry Roy.

Wildly popular with troops and those who frequented the Mayfair Hotel and the Cafe Anglais  Roy was not without controversy though. A number of his songs had quite cheeky and smutty connotations and, even with today’s more liberal ear, one cannot believe that songs like My Girls Pussy or She Had to Go and Lose it at the Astor could get past our more stuffy ancestors.

Still, as I find the whole hauntological era of dance bands fascinating, it’s only right that I curated a selection of Roy’s songs in my album collection.

 

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