Grimper are very nearly wonderful. "Straight out with the Worcesters" is a private labour of much love and great ambition. It is a big laugh, with a West Yorkshire rural take on pop nuttiness. A kind of Charlotte Bronte meets the Bonzo Dog Band, compared, say to the Scaramanga Six's Jane Austen vs Frank Zappa.
Musical styles and well placed jokes are what the Grimpers are all about. After the very Victoria Wood QR 4A YR (queer for a year ... try it, it's good!), a lush lounge schmooze goes "You're not worth a shit ... la la la ... I hate your guts, I wish you'd fuck off home again la la la" in "It's Shit You're Back". Lovely. And then there's a tropical paradise shuffle into "Aerial Glide", that asks the big question "are you going to Shipley Glen Fair?" Well. I am now. "trees and wasps and air and ice cream" Yum Yum. I'm there. A really fine use of a great crap tune.
"Graeme Duckworth" is another stand out song. With such a poetic name it's obvious that he would be "my friend ... to the end" in a very deep voice. "Master Race" is Haworth's answer to Broadway's "Springtime for Hitler". What a pretty tune. What a bizarre man.
"Work To Do" is the crappest funk song I ever heard. Bass thunders like a rubber band over a metal pencil case and there's some pasty-faced Isaac Hayes Shaft guitar. But Grimper keep an absolutely straight face. "Save your hands for a rainy day" What are they singing about?
"Power Ballad" has a sweet piano intro, and the lighters are ready .. well, till the voices start. More reverb than the Club Singer ... and then, oh my God ... vocoder. Please! Please! No! It hurts! ENOUGH!!! Genius.
Eccleshill is a cheerful chordful trumpetty kind of tune. And Liversedge winds it all up with a Doo Dah Band nod in the direction of "League of Gentlemen".
Maybe this is a "League of Gentlemen" side project? I better just go check the internet before I file this ... hang on a minute ...
... well I just got back, having got involved in a website called Headpress (securehost2.zen.co.uk/headpress/). I couldn't find anything sensible about the League of Gentlemen. But in the fifteen minutes, with the Grimper's CD sitting there doing nothing much, the "secret tracks" starting coming through - short clips from each of the songs, with Uncle Rabid doing a John Shuttleworth kind of commentary over the top. I should have nicked his comments and saved myself the trouble of writing the review.
Nearly wonderful - yes indeed. The sound quality is on the edge of terrible. But if you want to keep your weird credentials and build that priceless collection of gems for the future you are doomed to have to buy Grimper. You will be the Only Person On Your Street to have it. Wherever you live.