Artist: "Ivor Cutler"
Album: "Jammy Smears"
Review: Scotch Yid, poet, school teacher, failed painter, storyteller, radio personality, humorist, songwriter, adequate player of the Harmonium, member of the Noise Abatement and Voluntary Euthanasia societies, socialist; Ivor Cutler is a living treasure.
Born in Glasgow in 1923, fame came lateish for Ivor. In 1957 at the age of 37 he began singing odd, deadpan musically simple but beguiling songs. In 1959, he became a fixture on BBC radio telling nonsense stories and tales of his Scotch childhood on BBC radio. Paul McCartney became enamored of his lyrics, and recommended them to John Lennon. Cutler appears in “Magical Mystery Tour” as the Bus driver Buster Bloodvessel. Offered the chance to tutor McCartney and Lennon’s children, he turned them down on socialist principles. After all, what made their children more special than the ones he was already teaching?
Jammy Smears, released in 1976 is the last of three studio records cutler did for Virgin Records. As in the others, his songs are interspersed with readings of Poems and short stories by his partner, Phyllis King.
One can’t go wrong with songs titled ‘Bicarbonate of Chicken’ and ‘Surly Buddy’, but it’s ‘Wooden Tree’ that won my heart, a gentle, repetitive song on the beauties of a ‘Wooden tree’ which can be found ‘there at the back’. If you’d like to hear it, you need do no more than visit my MySpace page.
Be patient. Let it wash over you. Let Ivor tell you a story, and see if it isn’t wonderful, soothing and in some way essentially true to the human condition.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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