|Dimensions||22 × 16 × .50 cm|
Soursob Bob – Live at the Wheatty
by Chris Spencer
Soursob Bob is a funny man – perhaps I should re-phrase that – Soursob Bob sings some funny songs.
I’d hope that most of you would be familiar with Bob and his music.
I first saw Bob at the first Yackandandah Folk Festival, and caught a couple of his performances there.
He’s almost a stand up comic, using his droll humour, deadpan singing and minimal guitar accompaniment and occasionally kazoo.
Bob’s invited some guests to assist on this recording – Lord Stompy on harmonica on “Mazda 323”, cellist Elizabeth Vale on “Haymaker”, and Emma Luka on violin on several tracks.
He relates that this is the first time he has been backed by cello.
On this album of 17 tracks, Bob mixes his humorous songs with some serious tracks: covers of Midnight Oils’ “US Forces” and Bob Dylan’s “Isis”.
The opening song “Email” is almost redundant these days, as one futurist in the paper the other day, predicts email may be a thing of the past by 2010!
But I presume it’s been a popular number in his live repertoire.
“Reinvent Yourself” doesn’t quite work – He’s poking fun at new age thinking, but uses swearing to make his point.
I think his approach on this song is too blunt, his subtler songs work better.
One of several covers on the album, “God Said No” contemplates a meeting with God in the slums.
Another “Cord” is about a male teenager’s wanting to get to know his men’s wear female shop assistant better.
“Haymaker” is about relationship problems with a bit of exaggeration involved.
A second outlining relationship problems, “Do You Have to Turn Your Back” comes across as spiteful rather than amusing.
“Dogs” is a rant about the disadvantages of owning dogs, and “Sing the Folk” is ‘hip hop for folkies’.
I couldn’t see the rationale behind “You’re not Carolyn” or “My Afghani Heritage”, they’re neither humorous nor making an obvious observation.
Not so many belly laughs, but wry smiles of bemusement.
From what I’m hearing here, he’d be a better bet live.
About the artist: Soursob Bob’s music is an accomplished take on folk, with a definite Australian slant. Nothing is sacred in Soursob’s world. As he puts spin on everyday and unusual occurrences, his lyrical content is exceptionally sharp, satirical and provocative.
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