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'The Seven Curses Of The Music Hall'   

-  Label: 'Phono Erotic'
-  Genre: 'Blues' -  Release Date: '27th April 2018'-  Catalogue No: 'PHOER032'

Our Rating:
Finally, I have an entire album by The Blood Tub Orchestra and if you like Old Victorian and Edwardian Music Hall tunes this album is an essential buy.

Following on from the band's most excellent We're Glad You've Got A Gun single from 2015 comes this full album. As with the single they are still on the wonderfully named Phono Erotic Records.

To say the Blood Tub Orchestra have played in a few other bands is putting it mildly. They are a well-seasoned bunch having played in (among others) Trans Global Underground, Blindness, London Dirthole Company, Echobelly, Furniture, etc etc.

The Seven Curses Of The Music Hall begins with a clattering bar room rumble through Things Are Worse In Russia: a sentiment our leaders today are as fond of parroting as they did in the 1920's when it was originally written. I Cannot Sing the Old Songs from 1868 sounds like a drunken end of night sing along with nicely downbeat vocals in a right old spit and sawdust boozer.

The Football Match is an early music hall footie punch up and brawl of a song played at a frightful clip with almost player piano style interlude in the middle for half time. They Can't Do Without Us is the sort of song Chas and Dave regularly plunder twisted through the Robert Lloyd classic Part Of the Anchor. Although he probably pilfered this tune about the sex wars of the 1920's.

Percy From Pimlico is a right old cheeky chappie of a song and a real tale of living in the underclass of the day with some fine barrelhouse piano accompaniment.They then do a version of It Ain't All Honey It Ain't All Jam: a song I'm more familiar hearing as a blues tune or else by Dusty Springfield rather than this raucous take on a rather Bawdy tune.

Never Let Your Braces Dangle is turned into a rather dense and intense piece with all sorts of sound effect noises as the stream of advice is spat at you. They do a new version of the old single We're Glad You've Got A Gun that's even more relevant now than it was a few years ago. Now it features militant drumming for the rest of the orchestra to build around as the World War One classic unfolds and they all go and shoot the Huns as the strings get denser and the drums get you marching off to war.

The Bolshevik is one of those frightfully nasty songs that help gee up young soldiers into hating the Bolsheviks - enough to go and kill them over a very familiar slow piano part and rampantly barrelling band parts. You almost expect them to start singing "a killing we shall go", but instead they list who they should go off and kill before they eat a trout.

The Spaniard That Blighted My Life is next and what a tale of pain and suffering it is, right and proper. A right old sing song as he gives it to that old toreador and his pals that he wants to die die die. As You Were Before is a proper old knees up of an oompah tale of life on the up and up.

The Daring Young Man On The Flying Trapeze is nothing like Spike Jones or George Formby versions. Instead, it's transformed into a rather darker tale, more in keeping with its gender confusion and 19th century roots. I Dreamt That I Dwelt On The Top Of St Paul's is a gentle piano tinkle of a soul bearer of a love-hate relationship.

Ain't It Grand To Be Bloomin' Well Dead is a great song that just won't die which Leslie Sarony initially turned into the first hit of the shellac age. But this tune had been doing the rounds for longer than that and damn, it's nice and downbeat Steam music hall that will surely get everyone barking the chorus at them live.

They finish off by going properly Dickensian on The Fine Old English Tory Times: a song about how awful the Tories can be which Charles Dickens wrote in 1841 and shows some things really haven't changed. I love the way the percussion punctuates the lyrics like whips on your back to get you up that chimney or back into the workhouse.

Yes, this band are as much a side show anomaly as serious band but damn, they are a fiendishly enjoyable way to spend a pulchritudinous 45 minutes of your day hearing these wonderful old songs brought into the 21st century.

Which is why rather than having to buy this music on Shellac or wax cylinder you can go and buy it on such modern mediums as Compact Disc or even Digital Download at:
author: simonovitch

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BLOOD TUB ORCHESTRA - The Seven Curses Of The Music Hall