Wednesday, 14 March 2012

JUDGE SMITH: Many layers of the onion

ORFEAS, Part Three
I am still trying to get my head around this record. The more I listen to it the more complex it becomes. One of the most irritating things about much popular music is the wysiwyg sundrome - basically what you see IS what you get, and the thing about artists like Judge Smith is that it is nothing like that.

It works on all sorts of levels. On the surface it is a jolly collection of songs which tells a story with engaging characters.

But it is also a whole collection of different pieces of music in a number of different idioms. It also features Lene Lovich (who is a great and sadly underappreciated singer) and John Ellis, the guitarist from The Vibrators who was one of my inspirations back when I was a spiky haired little herbert just about to be expelled from a not-very-good public school back in the day.

It is also a remarkably complex allegory, which uses a Chorus in the fashion of Greek Classical drama. But it also has drug jokes (one at least).

I am giving it a few more days, and will be listening to it again. Judge, by the way, emailed me yesterday. He seems a jolly good fellow, and I will be interviewing him in the not too distant future, so watch this space dudes and dudettes..

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