GREAT ALBUMS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT (1) : BALLBOY

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This may, or may not, become a regular feature. It’s also one in which there is much potential for guest contributions. A couple of years back there was a fine response to the idea of ‘Cult Classics’ where a largely unknown song would be brought to the attention of T(n)VV readers; this time I’m thinking about unknown LPs.

I’m kicking things off with a band to whom I was introduced by Jacques the Kipper.

Ballboy are pretty well-known in the UK as they were perennial favourites of John Peel but they never really made it beyond our shores. It’s also quite clear that they have a far bigger following in Scotland than anywhere else and I’d like to think this look at their proper debut studio album from 2002, A Guide For The Daylight Hours, will be its first exposure to a number of you.

The first thing that jumps out are the finest set of song titles since Moz was at the height of his pomp with The SmithsYou Can’t Spend Your Whole Life Hanging Around With Arseholes; I Wonder If You’re Drunk Enough To Sleep With Me Tonight; I Lost You, But I Found Country Music; Sex Is Boring; Meet Me At The Shooting Range.

The songs, as you’d imagine from the titles, involve a wry look at love and life – success and failures alike – which bring to mind the lyrical genius of a David Gedge, Jarvis Cocker or Paul Heaton. Or in one case, Nick Cave in his Murder Ballads phase.

The thing is though, the tunes are more than a match for the song titles…..being an great mix of jingly/indie guitar (or lovely acoustic guitar on the slower numbers) and fantastic sounding drums/bass guitar brilliantly underpinned by swooping organ or piano. Oh and there’s great use occasionally of a cello and a violin……

I won’t go into any detail on any of the songs and let them speak for themselves. Well, that was the intention but in recent times I’ve come to think about the opening track in a different way thanks to S-WC and his on/off relationship with Our Price Girl back in the day. If this had been written and recorded back then, I’m sure he would have adopted it as his theme song:-

mp3 : Ballboy – Avant Garde Music

It would have been great if The Badgers had covered it mind you……………………….

Here’s some more brilliance.

mp3 : Ballboy – You Can’t Spend Your Whole Life Hanging Around With Arseholes
mp3 : Ballboy – Something’s Going To Happen Soon
mp3 : Ballboy – I Wonder If You’re Drunk Enough To Sleep With Me Tonight
mp3 : Ballboy – Sex Is Boring
mp3 : Ballboy – Meet Me At The Shooting Range

The last of these closes the album.  It’s as black and frightening a lyric as you’re likely to ever hear.  And the cello never sounded sadder…………..

 

7 thoughts on “GREAT ALBUMS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT (1) : BALLBOY

  1. Ballboy are easily the finest band to come from Scotland and that’s a fact! I’ve always loved them. Years and years ago Gordon did a Podcast, available on their homepage, which was terrific! In it he would do acoustic versions of some tunes, just him and his guitar … most wonderful stuff!

    And you might argue with me now, but albeit it being a compilation, I would consider ‘Club Anthems 2001’ to be their first proper album ….

  2. ” the tunes are more than a match for the song titles”. Absolutely, JC. When you read them there’s that hope that the music lives up to the expectation, and it does. Great idea for a series.

  3. great album – one of my favourites from 2002… i hate scotland still features on playlists… this has made me want to give the whole album a listen…

    and it’s a great idea for a series too!

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