Sometimes I get asked to do a review of a band without really having an idea where to start; and with The Lancashire Hotpots I have even less of a clue to be honest. From St Helen's, Lancashire, the basic premise is that they are a comedy folk band who offers words of advice and Northern wisdom in various songs which sometimes sound vaguely familiar. With 8 official albums released (according to the band there is more that has not been released and there is some alternative versions of the songs), this was their second official release. The main reason for picking this one was nothing to do with it being their alleged best or anything like that, I just liked the cover and it made me chuckle; I also like the heavy nod to the Beach Boys and 'Pet Sound'. Of course it is not going to be anything like that album, but that is the point. So how does it sound and will I want to ride tandem afters?
Starting with the life lesson that is "Keys Wallet Phone" which goes on about various scenarios’ about forgetting various items of importance, then you are shown up front that this is an album which does not want to be taken seriously, it wants you to have a laugh. Following with the tandem loving duo of "I Hate IKEA" (about one man's hatred of the furnisher chain) and "I Heart YouTube" (title sort of gives it away) and you will be chuckling into your pint and looking for your flat cap. Then you have the slightly creepy (the chorus with the choir of scary children made me laugh and shiver in equal measure) "Uncle Bernard" which goes on about how things were back in the 80's (some of this I actually remember - now that is showing my age) and it made me laugh out loud with further listens as well.
Coming up afterwards is "Deride" which is a tale of warning against illegal downloads, "Don't Make Polar Bears Cry" is a ode to the green way of life and "ESC, ALT & F4" which is useful if you’re watching some dirty movies and the better half walks in; all of which go by at a good pace and with a good chuckle as well. Then is the country & western esque-tale of "Chav" (should be spelt Charv, but that is just my personal taste) is about that group of people who have no morals in the style of Rawhide - another rib tickler again. "Indie Disco" is all about the rise of the alternative disco which came in the middle of the early 00's and mocks many of the Supermarket Indie bands which makes me laugh as I have seen this stuff happen in real life as well.
"BOGOFF" is a slow starting number about the wonders of the Buy One Get One Free sticker and this gives way to the fantastic "The Beer Olympics", which would have been a world class (and mess sport) if it was a truly a sport; coming up with the depressing state of the TV with "On The Box" and how we can have a million channels with nothing to watch. Which brings up the final tune which is a tale of an affair with "The Girl From Bargain Booze". Never have getting cheap booze on the sly sounded so funny and seedy in one go. This album has some laugh out loud moments and is obviously for a certain type of audience, but it is well played, never realises on bad language for laughs and is incredible well played. They are currently on tour in the UK at the moment and if they are playing near you then make the effort to see them if you can. Now where is that can of Boddingtons and my crisps?
8.5 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 Lancashire Hotpots website here
You can listen to the album on the Spotify....
Here is the video for "The Beer Olympics"