Tha's reet good, like!
I live myself quite a quiet and simple life here in Wiltshire. Every other neighbour is a farmer so we only have to pop a couple of miles to next door and we can replenish our supplies of milk, eggs, bread, beef, venison and the like. Sometimes we all jump on our Massey Fergusson and go to the big city of Swindon and knock back the cider whilst having a big old shin dig. So basically what I'm saying is that being born and bred in the South, firstly I wasn't really aware too much of anything North of Oxford, and secondly, I thought that it was just baron ground of either hills and dales, or rows upon rows of terrace houses for the miners and factory workers. Apparently there is life up North, and here The Lancashire Hotpots give me a whole album of what life is like to them.
The best way to describe these unlikely lads would be to say that if the Somerset legends, The Wurzels, were to move up to Bolton and Peter Key came in to help them with their accents, pretty soon you'd have The Lancashire Hotpots, and I think you'll agree that there is no higher accolade than that. The Beatles, were alright with their basin haircuts and the psychedelic out look, but you'd get no haymaking done if you were stood around singing, "I wanna hold you haa-aand!" would you? ABBA also had a few catchy numbers but if they had struggled through agricultural college only to be a farm hand then they would think twice about singing, "Money, Money, Money". Jimi Hendrix was pretty good on a guitar, but I bet he was no good with a pitch fork and pig shit, was he? Nah, it's The Wurzels that deserve to be top in the Rock'n'Roll hall of fame with their rib-tickling, and thigh-slapping jingles of joviality, and so The Lancashire Hotpots, can do no worse then emulate these rock Gods.
There has been a little stirring around Room Thirteen regarding this album, and although we've not got to the great North v South arguments of 2006, it's definitely bubbling under. Let's not forget that us Southerners have already got Chas'n'Dave in the bag too.
Sometimes comedy and music only works briefly, however what you have here are not the juvenile poop and fart jokes of pop/punk bands or rappers, but things that are actually relevant to us. Now, 'Never Mind The Hotpots' (which for all of you slow folk is a take on The Sex Pistols album, 'Never Mind The Bollocks'), starts off with the great, 'Chippy Tea' which gives you an idea of a Lancashire man's preferred supper which also has a dig at all of the celebrity chefs, so that can't be a bad thing.
'I Met A Girl On Myspace' which, as you can imagine, is a funky little folk jig all about the big hype that is Myspace. One of the funny parts within each song is the comments that singer, Bernard Thresher, makes like, "Get down with your bad self!" and "Word to your mother...h-how is your mother?" before then singing the lines of, " We walked home from pub tu-gether, I even bought her chips // I kissed her on the doorstep, she said, "Can't you kiss me on the lips?" // We carried on our courting, but then I 'ad a reet big shock // It turns out it wasn't a girl at all, it were a fella with a massive...Doo rah, doo rah yeah!"
Now the best song on here by far is, 'He's Turned Emo' which is just classic. Not only is it catchy as hell, but the lyrics could bring a wave of laughter a funeral. It tells the tale of a guy who's decided to start wearing eyeliner, growing his hair and straightening it, and dumping his Simply Red & Madonna CD's for Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, Bullet For My Valentine and Jimmy Eat World. Best verse lyrics are, "I said you're not an emo, lets forget this misdemeanour // Come wi me and see Cliff Richard at the MEN arena // He said "I'm feeling all emotional I don't know why" // I said its those tight trousers, that are making you cry // Come an have a pint a mild, And you'll feel fine // And listen to Abba ,Not Bullet for My Valentine!" Before the chorus of, "Oh, no He's turned Emo // He's dressing like a goth And he's let himself go // He used to be listening to Simply Red // now he's listening to Fall Out Boy instead" It's pure genius.
Next song, 'Ebay 'eck' tells of the perils of a broken heart, and rather comically how you can sell all of your ex's stuff on Ebay, so for anyone who has ever bought or sold on Ebay these lyrics will be all too familiar, "I've had a starting bid, for a quid, on my Bullseye beermat..." Bernard sings, and we are with you son.
'The Firewall Song' tells of the dangers of not have a virus checker on your PC, whilst 'Dolby 5.1' is a jealous tale of trying to keep up with the Jones', when your neighbour wins the lottery. The song has the same tune as Brian & Michael's 1978 hit, 'Matchstalk Men And Matchstalk Cats And Dogs' which includes a children's choir, at which at one point Bernard shouts, "Come on, sing for your supper kids! Rice pudding tonight!" Then we have 'Lancashire Town' which sounds like a parody of 'Blueberry Hill' the song made famous by Fats Domino in 1964. It's a slow take on the benefits of staying in Lancashire after being offered a job down south in Coventry.
The arguments that can be stopped in the car are highlighted in, 'Sat Nav', whilst, 'She'll Be Coming Around The Mountain' now has lyrics to do with the devil's water in, 'Bitter Lager Cider Ale Stout', but it's 'Shopmobility Scooter' that will really have you chuckling, in it's Oasis-like ballad, especially in the chorus, whereby you get a great Liam Gallagher impression, "...On your shopmobility scooter, dee-deeing!".
The Irish jig of, 'A Lancashire DJ' is a jaunty number name dropping many dance acts it sums up The Lancashire Hotpots with banjo and penny whistles. Then there is the slow innuendos of 'Me PSP', which leads us to the last song, 'Christmas In Lancashire' and I think that you probably have a very good idea at what this song might sound like!
There are some CD's that I get sent that I struggle to even listen to a song all the way through, however I was playing a couple of these over and over again before I had even sat down ready to review. Some people may very well be dismissive and say that there is no skill in sounding like other peoples songs, however it's not easy to make people laugh. The music is always good, and I can tell you that playing a banjo is no mean feat! This is the sort of album that you will whip out when all of your friends are around, and they'll be no arguments over genres, or hit parades here as everyone will be thoroughly entertained.
You could do a lot worse than getting you hands on a copy of this album. It's entertaining, it's played well and you are listening to every word, which is how music should be. Let's not get over excited, these guys are no Wurzels, and they are Northern, but by-eck, they are also very good!