Deckchair Poets - 'Who Needs Pyjamas?'

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Deckchair Poets - 'Who Needs Pyjamas?'

For those with a more prominent funny bone, this could well be one of the surprise albums of the year.

Right from first glance of spaced out zebras wearing pyjamas on the cover of Deckchair Poets 'Who Needs Pyjamas?' you know that wacky and kooky are words in play here. Add to that short (and by short I mean fifteen to forty seconds) tracks with titles like 'Toilet – The Household Necessities Trilogy Part 1', flushing sounds and all, (parts 2 and 3 extol the virtues of washing machines and refrigerators), 'Silverfish', about, well standing on a silver fish and 'Crem'', where we take Grandad down to the crematorium, and you really are well within your rights to ask why you should care. The answer is twofold. Firstly because the people involved in this less than serious endeavour include Geoff Downes (Asia/Yes), Nick D'Virgilio (Spock's Beard) and Lynden Williams (Jerusalem/The Brits) and secondly because while the lyrics for much of this album are decidedly tongue in cheek, the music most certainly isn't.

That however isn't to suggest that 'Brown Trousers', 'One Ugly Child' or 'Walking Like A Crocodile' are exactly what you'd expect from this Prog collective, with a decidedly Rock 'n' Roll air evident throughout, even as the keyboard takes over. It's "Prock 'n' Roll" if you will, with thick hip gyrating grooves driving much of what sticks in the mind here, a fine cover of 'You're So Square' confirming the vibe. All the while Williams turns in a scintillating, powerful, quirky vocal performance which sits perfectly between a serious take on Prog, 'R'n'R... and madness!

In between the intentional wry humour of 'Whipsnade Escapees' with dog, elephant, horse and cow samples and 'Buddha In The Nude', where the song title is rhymed with "I suppose you think that's rather rude?", there are a selection of slightly more sensible social comments, 'Elephants Not Ivory' (an odd amalgam of The Stranglers 'Golden Brown' and The Kinks 'All Day And All Of The Night') being an animal rights anthem and 'Walking In A Crocodile' a humorous, if poignant take on growing old. However for most of this excellent musical escapade quirky and wacky are very high on the agenda. If that sounds like a major turn off, then possibly this will be hard work for you.

For those with a more prominent funny bone, Deckchair Poets could well be one of the surprise albums of the year!

Steven Reid

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