Eliza P – Eclectic Kettle (Barbaraville)
Finally the album merging folk, punk and skiffle is here in the form of Eliza P.
With the exception of Daft Punk, there really doesn’t seem to have been any good comedic albums out for years. Maybe that’s unfair on Daft Punk, as I really didn’t find it that funny.
Manchester lass, Eliza P is here taking over the reins from the likes of fellow northern working-class heroes Mike Harding and Victoria Wood with her own brand of incisive well-observed ditties.
Her previous bands included Paris Angels, Field Trip and an early incarnation of Audiweb before she turned her back on technology and returned to her trust guitar a few years later. She’s toured with Martin Stephenson who has now welcomed her to the Barbaraville label and interpreted her songs from lone guitar to full band including the likes of Alan Leckie on keyboards and James Morrison on fiddle. Martin is also there on bass, guitar and percussion, and Helen McCookerybook provides the album artwork.
Eliza isn’t blinded by the bright lights either. Her goal is pretty clear – “if it gives you a giggle…..then my work here is done” and she certainly has little else on her mind. At her recent album launch she told me that she had arranged the catering and a big cake, but had forgotten to invite the Press.
Album opener Second Hand Addiction launches straight into the wit of Eliza with her love of the High Street charity shop - “I want a pair of jeans that don’t quite fit me, I want a novelty ashtray made by Trappist Monks in Whitby” and things that “smell of wee and cheese & onion pasty”.
Along the journey through her debut album we visit the dodgy dealings in your local Weatherspoon’s, tips on how to lose your bills and the respectable girl that falls in love with a Chav. The wordplay on Oh Jeremy! is superb and Jeremy Kyle must have roared with laughter on his first listen at the all too common (it seems) social commentary of today’s TV. On the parentage of her child a mother quips “I think it could be Charlie ‘cos they look a bit alike, but I really fancy Sam and Johnny’s got a motorbike”.
If you fail to raise a smile during this album then there really is something wrong with you. It’s not all comedy though, Hedgewitch is a fine traditional sounding folk song that will raise the hairs on the back of your neck, and Afternoon Teas is a fine description of the state of our nation.
If Eliza wanted great fame, you’d probably hear a lot more of her. I suggest you buy the album and keep it as your own little giggle store.