an absolute shower

Greeted by an unexpected though wonderful suprise earlier today, for waiting on our welcome mat a test copy of a limited 60 only lathe being prepped by the Fruits de Mer folk as a Christmas treat for those fully subscribed to their members club (details on purchasing TBA). Sent over by Phil at 345RPM who incidentally followed it up with a very touching and lovely message, the release entitled ‘an absolute shower’ is a slight departure from the usual acid folk / psyche / space rock road that we’ve come to love and adore from the FdM sound house, instead instilling a selection of light relief and nostalgic fun in the company of some of the finest and much missed comic moments and talents of the Golden age of British comedy heading out of the Gainsborough, Pinewood and Ealing studios. Four tracks feature on this lathe 7-inch with cool cat Leslie Phillips opening the proceedings with a ’59 cut entitled ‘the Disc’, a tale of a one off DJ appearance, a faulty record and an ‘electric geetar’ all dispatched with that typically trademark lounge lizarding sophistication atop a little jazzy coda over which an of the day hip-ish teen trimmed trebly groovy shivers and shimmers. Next up, the top cad himself Mr Terry-Thomas with ‘send for me’, a smoky if not at all, slice of kitschy lounge adorning cut as a romantic mood setter as our erstwhile ‘rotter’ sets up the love nest for some unsuspecting lady. ‘gobbledygook’ and ‘unwinise’ where descriptions used to describe Professor Stanley Unwin’s tongue twisting crooked language corrupting (see also Worzelese from Worzel Gummidge played by the much missed master of voice manipulations Jon Pertwee), ever the eccentric and the impish (a working class foil I guess you could call him to Viv Stanshall’s blusterous and pompous blue blooded Sir Henry Rawlinson), here surreally narrating Goldilocks in his own spoken fashion. Last but no means least, Sid James and Liz Fraser collaborate for the title theme from ‘Double Bunk’ the film that reunited Ian Carmichael with Jeanette Scott (see one of the classic comedies of all time ‘school for scoundrels’ with Alistair Sim and Terry-Thomas and featuring the infamous tennis match and car swap scene, puts the Martin / Caine remake in the shade). A rare though amicably jaunty seafare-ish sing song from Sid James, apart from a few out of tune and impromptu word forgetting goes in the radio versions of Hancock’s Half Hour to which ‘the Lad’ would always jump on with mirthful merriment (usually the Christmas specials in memory serves right) comes replete with the legendary James’ laugh, among the songwriting credits a young Mike Pratt who would go on to play one half of private eye duo Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased).

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