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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Jazz Butcher, A Scandal in Bohemia May 23, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Not sure when I first became fully conscious of the Jazz Butcher. It has to have been long before 1988’s Creation sampler ‘Doing it for the Kids’ where they had a pretty fine track, Lot 49. And I think I had a sense of them as being jangly, a bit like Orange Juice, a little like the Go-Betweens, perhaps Josef K or Monochrome Set too, somewhere in that indie pop area. Which was perhaps to do all of those groups a disservice. Pat Fish, an irrepressible talent, formed the Jazz Butcher with Max Eider in the early 1980s. Their second album A Scandal in Bohemia is a perfect example of early indie/jangle pop. There are more, quite a few more, but that’s the one for this post.

The opener ‘Southern Mark E Smith’ is a fantastic slice of indie pop. Then there’s Real Men which is a neat deconstruction of what might later be called toxic masculinity (chorus ‘Real Men, Real Men… from hell’). Or there’s ‘The best things in life are free… but you can give them to the SDP’. It’s that kind of album. And if the music wasn’t great it might not work, but the music is great. It covers some obvious areas, folk-pop, rockabilly, rock and more, much more. If you aren’t mad keen on one song don’t worry there’ll be one you really like along in a moment. There’s also a crossover with Bauhaus with both David J and Kevin Haskins appearing on the album.

In a way it reminds me of Monochrome Set, or as a precursor to Woodentops (and no surprise in a way given that Woodentops keyboardist Alice Thompson was involved with them prior to the Woodentops and a later career as a novelist.). But while I like both groups Monochrome Set could be a bit too glib and with Woodentops there was sometimes something a bit exhausting about their uber-melodicism and ultra-rapid rhythms.

Whereas with Jazz Butcher it just works. Here’s an interview from 1989.

Southern Mark E Smith

Soul Happy Hour

I Need Meat

Real Men

Marnie Muscovite Mix



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