Roach Records (label)
01 October 2023 (released)
06 August 2023
Andy Sharrocks has been around for many years, starting life in a punk covers band then going solo and eventually playing with a rolling & rotating bunch called Andy Sharrocks & The Smoking Jackets. I remember seeing them live a few times back in the mid-aughties either headlining or as support to a great many bands, and they were always, at the very least, good fun and good music.
This triple (!) vinyl release consists of 36 tracks, all written by Sharrocks, in what I might be tempted to describe as ‘Briticana’ – Americana with a very British voice.
Now, if you have been around forever, you will have listened to a lot of music and picked up a stack of influences, you will even have leant to write songs that other people enjoy listening to, in many different styles, and had enough adventures to actually have something to talk about in your songs. All of which probably describes Andy Sharrocks and the music in this album.
It is derivative – you can hear the influence of the Rolling Stones, Tom Waits, Dr John, Ian Dury, the Small Faces and probably a hundred others. But there is no shame in it, he isn’t trying to hide anything or claim to be a great new thing. He has just written an album of the kind of music that he has been playing live for years and years and that, I guess, gave him pleasure to write and record.
And, as a listener, it really is bloody good fun. It was recorded live in the studio with a bunch of his musical friends and you can really feel the pleasure he must have had in recording it.
Sharrocks vocals have a distinct ‘edge’ to them and his guitar playing fine but the band he has built around him – Danny Bourassa on guitar, Phil Watts on drums, Phil Cawsey on bass – are quite superb.
As for the songs, he covers a lot of themes and subjects and there is little point in picking out any particular tracks as the package will be sold as a whole, but I must say that he has a great way with the faintly sad and melancholic.
An unexpected delight, the three albums contain some bloody fine music that had me dancing in my chair as well as a few songs that had me pausing for thought.
It can be bought on Sharrocks website, www.andysharrocks.net and selected independent record stores.