The band's second album – ‘Bum Notes’ - from Three Bonzos and a Piano was launched at the band’s Brighton Festival Fringe show on Sunday 27 May 2012 at the Brighton Komedia.
The Three Bonzos – Sam Spoons, Rodney Slater and Roger Ruskin Spear – are all original members of the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band (now celebrating 50 years since its inception), with the line-up being completed by Dave Glasson, a Whoopee Band original, on piano. Adding to the affray are guests Andy Roberts (Liverpool Scene) on guitar and other plucking things, and Chris Spedding (Motorbikin’ bass!).
Those already familiar with everything Bonzo will be delighted to learn that Three Bonzos and a Piano’s second album ‘Bum Notes’ brings together spoofs on a variety of styles of music (starting with the famous Blue Note jazz label!), a habit they have maintained since the sixties from their Gorilla album onwards, covering 30’s jazz through Rock ‘n’ Roll and upwards, but with their own unique twist. Those discovering Three Bonzos And A Piano for the first time – which includes lots of younger people if their audiences at their sell-out shows over the last three years are anything to go by - will find a refreshing take on much that they hold sacred.
Here is the first review - from The Source magazine based in Brighton UK:
Bum Notes – a review of the new album from 3 Bonzos and a Piano
18 tracks, 55 minutes, of music, mayhem and madness expressly lacking in maturity and mediocrity.
This is a superb collection of songs from 3 original Bonzos, Roger Ruskin-Spear, Rodney Slater and Sam Spoons plus Dave Glasson ex-Bob Kerr’s Whoopee band. They revisit some old classics and overhaul them completely and deliver new songs with all the angst, confusion and humour that age and (im)maturity brings. This will appeal to all ages, even those who have lived as a hermit since the early 60’s and have never heard of the Bonzos. For those of more tender years it takes you gently by the hand and shows you the pleasures that await you in later life. If you are of the same generation then you are hip to their jive, meaning your hips won’t jive so it is all in the mind.
Play this album and re-live the 60’s and discover everything since then. Indulge in prog rock and experience audio experiments, discover country and western and realise it aint all bad, then blow your mind with electronic spoons, but most of all just enjoy – you will smile and feel better afterwards. Despite the title there is not a Bum Note on this album.
Track by Track
Er (The In-tray and the Out-tray) – the legendary Intro & Outro is revisited, taken apart and put back together in a beautifully confused manner with a great jazzy backing.
Achin' and Shakin' – Bus Pass Rock and roll. Great bass and guitar riffs for angry old men. It is all about Aging and Raging. Kicking out at a world that dumps on anyone over 60.
Holey Cheeses – Country and Western for cheese loving atheists. If you have any right wing Christian fundamentalist relatives over from the US then play this for them and they will consider you the spawn of the devil. Not for people with a cheese allergy. The cheese and pickle on the communion wafers, Yee Haaa and bless you.
I’m Against Everything – Grumpy lyrics over reggae rhythms. Ian Drury and the Blackheads would be proud of this one.
Purple Sprouting Broccoli – Country and Western about loving in the veg patch. Accordion and slide guitar with gardening advice. You will dig this - it’s better than Miracle Grow. Veg based Viagra.
I Find Tyres Exciting – Pure Bonzo nonsense crying out for Viv’s dulcet tones but delivered with subtlety and honesty by Roger. White-walled low profile and slick - and that’s just Roger.
I Love Washing Up – Cutlery and utensil based track all about one man’s love of washing up.
Whistle and Spoons – exactly what the title says, short and sweet.
The Cairo Two-Step – Strictly come sand dancing, musical Immodium. This is the new dance sensation with easy to follow instructions. Walk like an Egyptian with Cairo tummy.
New Music for the Leg – Moody, weird, sanatogen-based theremin prog rock for the Horlicks generation. The Leg is back for another knees-up.
Wall of Sound – A tribute to the legendary sound pioneered by Phil Spector. He worked with everyone who was everyone except the Bonzos. They considered him too weird! But now they have mastered his technique and have created the ultimate wall of sound track. Whilst he is inside they don’t have to pay him royalties, cunning chaps.
Digital Spoons 1 – prelude for Digital Spoons 2, distorted spoons for confused hippies played by the master.
The Persistence of Memory – Late night Jazz morphs into old radio edits. Lyrics of childhood memories, recalling school-days, growing up, discovering sex. Baby-boomers having a laugh at everyone else.
Whimsical Avenue – Hop and skip through the flowers in this Donovan / Tyrannosaurus Rex folk-rock track. Dance naked at a festival and roll in the mud. This track could win Eurovision.
A, B or C – food based chemistry lesson, no added music.
Hard Luck, John – This is the Stadium Anthem track. Slow beat rock in the Ian Drury idiom. All about how the ordinary John gets screwed by the system. Great ending, not knowingly over produced.
Banned by the BBC – All about how success comes with the ultimate tribute of being banned by the Beeb. Auntie has unwittingly created some huge hits from tracks that would never have had air play without them banning them. An ironic lament as sadly the Bonzo’s have never been given this accolade. YET!
Digital Spoons 2 – more distorted spoons and whistles in this brief cutlery based prog rock. Try putting it on repeat and empty your mind just like a dish-washer finishing its cycle.
This is just the latest album in a glorious musical chain going back to the dawn of Radio One and before. Get the whole collection and listen to history.