viernes, 3 de octubre de 2008
Wild Billy Childish and The Musicians of The British Empire- Punk Rock at The Brithish Legion Hall (2007)
Sea como sea (lo siento Johnny) Billy Childish tiene que ganar la encuesta abierta en este blog, por ello quiero ofreceros hoy un disco que decline los últimos votos a favor del genio de Chatham. Se trata de una de las últimas aventuras musicales del tío Childish, bajo el nombre de Wild Billy Childish and The Musicians of The British Empire, de paso también aprovecho para dedicar este post a Lobok75, a quien hace un par de semanas le prometí que este disco aparecería en breve en Trashsistors; va por ti maestro. En este nuevo proyecto, Billy Childish (guitarra y voces) y Wolf Howard (a la batería) se disfrazan de soldados británicos de la I Guerra Mundial, mientras que la encantadora Julie (a los mandos del bajo) se mete en la piel de una enfermera de la época. Billy Childish vuelve a sus orígenes, abandona el blues cochambroso que le tenía obsesionado en los últimos años y retoma los sonidos garageros con una actitud decididamente punk, así lo demuestra el primer corte de este disco, "Joe Strummer's Grave", pero nuestro adorado mesías no le hace ascos a los sonidos más pausados, e incluso a veces el disco se acerca a una especie de power pop primigenio, como podréis comprobar en temas como "Date with Dough". En definitiva, un disco en el que Billy Childish abre una nueva vía a explorar en su prolífica discografía, los sonidos de los 70's, aunque sin perder de vista las raíces 60's de la mayoría de sus discos; personalmente creo que se puede decir que este "Punk Rock at The British Legion Hall" es una mezcla entre sus primeros trabajos al frente de Pop Rivets y el ya mítico disco (para mí el mejor) de Thee Headcoats, "Heavens to Murgatroyd Even! Its Thee Headcoats" (1991). Os dejo con una reseña del disco en lengua bárbara:
"“We’re a garage band / we come from garage land”, snarled Joe Strummer on The Clash’s classic self-titled 1977 debut album. Hardly up there with the most inspiring of rallying calls, although some 30-odd years later and the very same statement can be applied perfectly to another musician and his band. Step forward Wild Billy Childish, And The Musicians Of The British Empire. The Musicians Of The British Empire comprise of former Buff Medways drummer Wolf Howard, Buffetts bassist Nurse Julie and of course the man himself – Billy Childish. Prolific author, poet, photographer, film maker and not forgetting singer and guitarist, the man needs little introduction. Let’s face it – how many people can you name who have recorded more than 100 full-length independent albums? Nope, thought not. They don’t call him ‘the king of garage rock’ for nothing. Now it’s fair to point out that there’s nothing radically different here from any other Billy Childish related musical project – we know what to expect, garage punk and blues in abundance. Ok, so it’s hardly re-inventing the wheel, but that’s surely missing the point – whatever project Billy is involved with is delivered with genuine guts and spirit, and you know he means it.
Musically, The Musicians Of The British Empire take their cues from the best of them, creating a sound rooted somewhere between The Jam and The Who - with the addition of a few blues numbers thrown into the mix to steady the ship. In fact they even manage to re-create the distinctly dirty, scuzzy garage rock guitar sound of the 70’s punk and garage bands, with the overall production of the album sounding brilliantly lo-fi. No big recording budgets here, and all the better for it. But Billy isn’t a happy chap – all is not well within today’s British society, and we’re going to be told all about it, with the opening track Joe Strummer’s Grave being the perfect example of doing just that. Set to a ferocious assault of Kinks-esque guitar riffs, we find Billy spewing revulsion at today’s generation being lulled into a sense of complacency by mass media. “Cool Britannia, Jesus saves / Rupert Murdoch rules the waves / Richard Branson doesn’t shave / and Joe Strummer’s laughing in his grave”. I’m sure Joe himself would be nodding his head in quiet approval at this sentiment, echoing the same form of social commentary for which the Clash were known. Listening to Billy spewing forth his lyrics, if you didn’t know better it could be coming from the mouth of a snarling punk – all tats, piercings, with mohawk proudly aloft. Not something you’d expect from a fella in his 40’s, dressed in military regalia and sporting a handlebar moustache. Credit to him though, for still showing the same passion and intensity after all his years of writing and recording – and he’s clearly still enjoying what he’s doing.
The album’s title track Punk Rock At The British Legion Hall goes a step further, documenting the generation conflict in which punk has become a fashionable commodity as opposed to an attitude and way of life. “I fought through a war for you / but what do you go and do / dye your hair bloody pink and orange / stuck up in the air with a bowl of porridge”. These days, with the pop punk production line churning out countless look and soundalike bands, this echoes true today in every sense of the word. Where’s Joe Strummer when he’s needed? Elsewhere the pace slows slightly for the wry humour of Bugger The Buffs – a harmonica-led spoken word blues number, while Nurse Julie takes over lead vocals on the instantly catchy Date With Doug, sounding like The Donnas before they discovered the lure of the charts. However, unfortunately, the intense and catchy songwriting present on the opening handful of tracks doesn’t quite continue for the duration of the record – by the time you near the finishing line it all begins to sound slightly tiresome and formulaic. A minor criticism, though, for an otherwise impressive collection of songs.
Overall Punk Rock At The British Legion Hall is the sound of a man calmly gathering his thoughts, before directing a staunch two-finger salute towards the copyist and bandwagon-jumping new generation of bands. “This is how it’s done, and this is what a real rock n’ roll group sounds like”. Spot on, and if there’s a man more qualified to say so in English music, then please do point him in the direction of the NME. The king of garage rock has spoken – are you listening? " (extraído de la página web Twisted Ear)
Y de regalo un video con la banda tocando en directo "Troubled Mind", no os podréis quejar... Espero que os guste y que votéis al tío Billy, jejeje.
COMPRA ESTE DISCO / BUY THIS RECORD