If you stray from the yellow brick road of Blues & Rock & Punk & Metal you will find yourself deep in the forest and assailed on all side by music that doesn’t follow the normal limitations of 4/4 rhythms and American voices.
This is one of those musical ‘strands’ that really has no place in polite society but stands on its own as a wonderful experience even though it pulls in elements from all over.

They describe themselves as ‘Post-Music Hall, Pre-Punk, Post-Modern’ and the music definitely fits with rollicking cockernee-style sing-alongs crossed with the heart of Punk. I hear elements of Steampunk in their Victoriana themes but also Chas & Dave at their best.

The 15 songs here purport to be either original, or derived from original, music hall numbers from the turn of the Victorian & Edwardian eras and it is remarkable how many of them find echoes in today.

The album opens with ‘Things Are Worse In Russia’ with tinkling Joanna and Master of Ceremonies Mr T. Whelan talking us into a massive bass line from Mr A. Davies. And the band playing a furious punkish break. Originally written post WW1 it still works and has all the feel of an old fashioned pub singalong. Sets up nicely for all the changes the album touches from for track to track.

Everything here works. There are no strangled attempts to shoehorn modern mores into Victorian ethics and ethos and the playing is exactly as you would want it to be – thumping drums, heavy bass, upright piano and a real live sense to it all.

I’ve never heard The Blood Tub Orchestra before but for sure, I’ll be keeping me eye on them. Great stuff.

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