Cracktown - consisting of Silver Fox on vocals/harmonica and King Rat on guitar/vocals - have been together for nearly a year. Time, then, for their first demo CD - and here it is, all 45 minutes of it. No four-song samplers for these boys - no, you get 12 tracks for your money, and not a filler among them.
It's hard to classify Cracktown. Their sound is stuck somewhere between delta blues, alt.country, folk, and something else which doesn't have a name. It must also be pointed out that their tongues are rammed quite firmly in their cheeks for most of the time.
However, despite their comedic lyrics, if you read between the lines there's something else here, something more serious, and it gives away the fact that Cracktown aren't entirely taking the piss - at least not all the time.
The live favourites are all here - "Alien Invasion", "Christians And Earthquakes", "East Riding Yorkshire Ripper", the hilarious "Caveat Emptor" - and on disc it's an extra treat to be able to make out all the lyrics you couldn't hear at the gigs because you were too drunk to listen carefully enough. Actually, in the case of "East Riding Yorkshire Ripper" it's not so much a treat as an ordeal, as the realisation that there is a song somewhere in the world which contains the line "on the dinner plate eating fallopian tubes" hits you like a shovel under the chin.
Elsewhere their version of Phil Ochs' "Love Me I'm A Liberal" stands out, as does "N.W.O.", with guest guitarist Obi Wan. "N.W.O." also features the best approximation (care of King Rat) of a Dylan vocal I've heard since, well, maybe not Dylan, but someone close. "Suicide Lifesick Blues" is the most individual sounding track on here, much slower in tempo than the rest of the album and with a vocal that sounds (use your imagination here) like Jim Reeves on crack. The hapless hero of the piece is trying his utmost to put an end to his suicide blues, but try as he might, it just isn't happening for him.
After "Suicide Homesick Blues" comes "Best Of British", easily the highlight here, a scathing attack on British tabloid culture with a barnstorming chorus, and a reworked verse of Rule Brittania to finish ("Rule Brittania / The lottery and Prozac / We're hooked on trailer trash TV / Our kids are hooked on smack.")
Overall, this is as good an introduction to Cracktown as you could hope for, outside of seeing them live. And for all the goodness on here, that's what you should do. On CD, these songs are great - all of them. But live - they're ten times better. Furthermore, it couldn't be easier to see them - Cracktown run the open mic night at The George, Land Of Green Ginger, every Thursday night. So go see them.
Music Reviews - Adelphi NightClub
It had been a long day covering Grass Roots Sunday festival in Pearson Park, and after a short kip I was to skip down to the Adelphi Nightclub where I had a couple of beers and took some photos and details of the acts and performers for www.thisisUll.com Read more...
"Homespun" by Homespun By Kevin Cross
Comprising the talents of Beautiful South guitarist Dave Rotheray and cockney songstress Sam Brown, I came across this new album quite by chance. Bolstered by members of the excellent Hull music scene, including renowned singer/songwriter Matthew Hogg, this album deserves national acclaim as it is, I can say without fear of contradiction, a revelation.
Music Reviews - Superscape
Hull based band Superscape have been around for more years than the individual members care to remember. With a slightly altered line-up, some comings and goings, and short respite, the band now seem raring to go.
Glastonbury Festival 2003 Friday 27th to Sunday 29th June By Suzanne
When someone mentions Glastonbury, what do you think of? Long-haired hippies in tie-dyed shirts smoking pot; a musical marathon; a mud bath?
News - Community Pioneers awards at the KC Stadium July 15th.By Rich Mills
Hull's Pioneering Spirit Is Recognised By Rich Mills
A balmy summer's evening, and hundreds of specially invited guests make their way to the new KC Stadium. A guest as part of the Hull Asylum Seekers Support Group contingent, I witnessed an evening of award giving and hearty backslapping.
Places to Visit - Pickering Park Rocks
Pickering Park rocks for the youth of Hull.
Sunday afternoon, 6th July 2003 saw the first FREE open air Rock Concerts for the youth of Hull, from noon until 7pm.
Bands featured included the Supatones, Crowroad, DumpValve, Freaks Union, The Favours, The Sonnet,
Zap the Flak, S.P.A.F.F.FRead more...