Sunday, 9 April 2017

No. 36 Billy Mahonie - One Thousand Years Of Billy Mahonie

Firstly a confession, I'm not certain that this is strictly a Billy Mahonie release. I'm slightly anxious that it should be filed under various artists and thus blogged about in (at this rate) about 37 years time. All will be explained...

It is also a landmark for two reasons - it's the first double-pack single (though there are plenty more to come) and it's  the first where one side of the vinyl is, in fact, an etched image. The single was put together to celebrate the fact that it was (first-rate indie label) Too Pure's one hundredth release.

So, that leaves three sides of music. The first is provided by Billy Mahonie; a reworking of Flagiolettes (this, along with the other two tracks are taken from their debut album, The Big Dig) called Less Flagiolettes and with added trumpet from Ian Watson (who I think also worked with fellow Too Purists, Gallon Drunk - more of them later). 

However, it's the other two tracks that are problematical, only because they're clearly not really performed by Billy Mahonie. On the flip of disc 1 is a reworking of We Accept American Dollars, remade by Luke Sutherland, of the fantastic Long Fin Killie (more of them later, too) and Bows. The final track is redone by Hefner (featuring Darren Hayman, later of The French, Darren Hayman and the Secondary Modern etc - much more of them/him later). Both the re-workings, sound fairly different from the originals - for a start they both have vocals. The former could easily be a Bows track and the latter sounds like a Hefner demo (no great surprises there).

The whole thing is nicely packaged in a smart gatefold sleeve; all-in-all a rather lovely object (but I still think it might be a various artists release).

You can listen to Less Flagiolettes at Gavin John Baker's excellent Bandcamp site, alternatively there's a fine (if incomplete) version of the band forming Flagiolettes on a boat in Poole Harbour. You get a good sense of what an impressive live outfit they were (even on a moving boat).

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