Sunday 8 October 2017

It's The Mick Trouble EP

Jed Smith, an American musical mimic, has taken on a subject far too obscure for Weird Al Yankovic. This is a quite good impersonation of early Television Personalities, but it's very silly.

This prank record's official line is that Mick Trouble disappeared in the early 1980s, just before he was going to give pub rock's new wave kings Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello a run for their money.

Which is barely credible because this is nothing more than a Television Personalities pastiche. Smith's west London accent is pretty good, but would only fool anyone who thinks Dick Van Dyke's London accent wasn't all that bad.

The lyrics are untroubled by subtlety - take "snotrag in the loo" from a song called "Shut Your Bleeding Gob You Git". I ask you. Mainstream television comics likely did this kind of skit at the time. See Kenny Everett for reference.

The attention to detail is very good - from the trebly punk jangle to the spoken pay-off line at the end of "Shut Your Bleeding Gob You Git", which doffs its (railway driver's) cap to Where's Bill Grundy Now?

But if you really want a song that sends up London's punk scene in the late 70s, look no further than Part-Time Punks by the Television Personalities.

And if you really want a contemporary band that's very influenced by the Television Personalities, head straight to the Real Numbers, whose Wordless Wonder album last year is the real deal. It adds something to the original with its own wit and style. Panache, not pastiche, works.

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