The Jazz Butcher
The Jazz Butcher Press The Jazz Butcher Conspiracy - April 05, 2013
Published: A song within a song (Spain) April 05, 2013 Credit: ;; Source:
Album Review: Distressed Gentlefolk Item added: 2023-09-20

The Jazz Butcher Conspiracy
Nothing special

I've been trying to write an entry for days, looking for the notes to associate a few words with and there was no way. I didn't notice "Nothing special". A gap, lack of inspiration. That strange feeling that you notice the day you realize that something ( a hobby, a reading, a song, a person ) that moved you hard, that turned your heart around, it doesn't mean anything anymore. He was beginning to be worried.

I had a lot of words and songs gathered in skeins, accumulated, but every time I pulled the thread it ran aground... "Nothing special". That's what I thought and it sounded on the iPod "Angels" of the "Jazz Butcher" and I realized that was the entry that was looking for me.

The Jazz Butchers are an English group from the eighties that had limited success. Probably because they never believed their musical line and that lack of self-esteem took away their possibilities. Chances are his style would have fitted better into current "indie" music ( By the way! ┬┐What style is this? ) than in the postpunk era.

I do not know if my interpretation is true but I have the feeling that they lacked support from all sides: from their audience, from the record companies and of course from themselves. It is even noticeable in the name of the group that has had up to three denominations: "The Jazz Butcher" with dry stick or adding "Conspiracy" or "And His Sikkorskis from Hell" ( Wikipedia dixit ). Their website lacks frills, although they continue to update it and continue to act.

"Disstressed gentlefolk" is the first album ( although it is the fourth ) that was released from them in Spain in 1986, and we bought it immediately. I do not know why. I'm sure he hadn't heard a song. It is possible that this cover with the drawing of a well-dressed man, tied to a beautiful woman in the rump of a horse hoisted by some wicked, riding in the direction of an abyss, it would influence it. That comic image is still very attractive to me and I like to look at it gawking while it sounds on the turntable.

Curious the title of the album that refers to a British NGO from the end of the 19th century and that is still active today. Surely it is a wink from the leader ( Pat Fish, The Butcher ) who, given the humorous tone of one of his lyrics, would say that he is horny.

Production is simple, without fuss, or excesses. Surely for lack of means, but enough to make a glimpse of young people trying to organize their ideas, hesitant, looking for their place in the world, wanting to have fun and have fun. It seems that they did too much because they fought ( "The Zurich Incident" ) and that meant the departure of the guitarist's band, vocalist and composer Max Eider who continued solo with some interesting proposal. It seems that over the years something was arranged and they have collaborated together occasionally.

The group continued with what is probably their best album: "Fishcoteque". A pun with the last name of the main component. Already characterized, by a more defined musical style with clearly pop trends and probably something more commercial.

"Falling in love" starts the album. A tune with a folk air. Vocal harmonies to cheer friends, even without music, when they leave. A start to optimistic rhythms although "There's a real bad case of too much falling in love".

It is followed by "Big bad thing" which persists in the rhythmic good humor despite the title, although with a style clearly different from the first, they sound a bit "punk". Those beers must be starting to take effect.

In "Still in the kitchen" they find their most characteristic sound and will then explode on their other records. It starts slow, just like a ballad, the guitars sound a little sinister at first and then become thorny with sharp crystal dots. A song that contains references to another song inside ( "The ballad of Lucy Jordan" ).

"Hungarian love song" is not a ballad although it seems from the title, it takes up the optimism of the principle very much in the line of the group. They have just had their identity clear and they will exploit it as soon as they realize it.

"The new world" makes them intimate. Percussions recall other musical styles, could be performed by any more classical singer. Provides variety to the disc assembly.

"Who loves you now" delves into that more classic style. They don't look like a group from the eighties, much less pop to use. Vocal harmonies predominate, the "dudua" that he liked so much in previous decades and the keyboards. One of the best on the album to open a monumental "B" face.

In "Domestic Animal" they are already released, after several hesitation and tests of various types have taken a run. The album is yours and they will demonstrate it especially in the guitars and the choirs at the end.

"Buffalo Shame" I can't find it. Bad luck! It seems that it will be instrumental for its long introduction that reminds us of the soundtrack of some "western". The flute appears for the first time, replaced shortly by absolutely sixties guitars. They chant more than they sing, the voice is one more instrument.

The initial strumming of the guitar announces something exceptional and although it is titled "Nothing Special" it is really special. Youthful, easy, contagious, ironic pop, somewhat presumptuous and cynical ( as befits the early ages ). Spy looks, sitting on a train, with which I totally identify, laughing inside everything and everyone. Now that we are older we already know that we will limit ourselves to repeating, if not the same, similar mistakes.

"The name of this train is the Nothing Special
It's just an ordinary train
A very ordinary train
Just like all the others; just a very ordinary train"

No pause compared to the previous one. They have left it for last because they know it is the best, it is the song that will make them last forever. A clearly nocturnal melody in contrast to the daylight that clearly gives off the previous one. The theme grows progressively with those angels dressed in black who are always inside and whom you would like to hug. Increase the number of instruments, the saxophone appears to differentiate it, to make it always mine, always yours ( if you want ). A song that has given me many laps from the first day and that will not let me go. One of those little pieces of soul housed anonymously on the net for anyone who wants to find it. According to Fish: "Written on the morning that news broke about Reagan's bombing of Tripoli."

"I can see them.
Here they come now.
There's thousands of them.
They're bearing you up.
They're holding you up.
I want to hold you in my arms."

Distressed Gentlefolk
We were deeply confused young men when we made this record. Max, Jones and I had all been drinking dangerously for over a year now. Generally, we had it down in concert. In just about every other department, however, we were coming to bits, individually and collectively, and to me this record actually shows the morbid state of things at the time.
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[Distressed Gentlefolk cover thumbnail]
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