The fact this album exists is a strange little story. The band is made up of Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy and Thomas Walsh of Pugwash. In 2009, these fine fellows got together and decided to make a concept album about cricket to be released around the time that the Ashes were being contested by England and Australia. Now I will not beat around the bush, cricket is not exactly the sport for me - it is not too boring by any stretch of the imagination, just not for me. So what possessed me to buy this you may rightly ask? Well, as I have noted elsewhere, I love The Divine Comedy; so when this came out it was natural to purchase it as I thought it might be a different journey with Mr Hannon. So how did fine this, was it a six or was it out for a duck?
Musically this is just a lovely piece of pop music that if you were not paying much attention to the lyrics, who be the perfect background for a summers party. It is just so much funny musically that even thought you have the off-stump references and talk of buggering ducks (not what you think), it is just a pleasant piece of work. The stand out tracks are the sublimely funny "Jiggery Pookery" which chronicles the introduction of Shane Warne to the world and purely fantastic "The Age Of Revolution" which shows how the nations have came up to be better than the English at their own game. The fun factor of this album is massive and rightly so, it is a tongue in cheek album that is sort of making a point that cricket is not just for the elite.
There are only two problems I have with this album. The first is it might be two tracks too long, even with the wonderful words of Hannon and Walsh, it is just a little too long for an album. I am not saying that songs such as "The Night-watchman" and "Test Match Special" are of a lower quality. Quite the opposite in some ways, just if they were not here, it would not be a crime either. Also, if you are not a fan of cricket or a fan of quirky pop then this album will be a test of your patience. That said, if you are a fan of this type of music I would say dive right in - apart from a few things I have to say that this is a very fun album and a joy to have on. Just keep the sensible head off and enjoy the pomp and circumstance of the occasion. Just to let you know though, there has been a sequel release to this.....
8 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart
You can purchase the album from Amazon here
You can visit the band's charming website here
You can listen to the album on Spotify here
Offical video for Meeting Mr Miandad
A fan made video for Jiggery Pokery