mardi 23 juin 2009

Neil Innes & The World - Lucky Planet

Line-Up :
Neil Innes - Lead vocals, guitar, piano
Dennis Cowan - Bass, guitar, vocals
Ian Wallace - Drums, vocals
Roger McKew - Lead guitar
Guest on track 2 : "Bubbles" White - Lead guitar

Produced by Neil Innes

What does a Bonzo do when his world crashes around him? Answer: build a new one.

And Neil Innes, one time pianist, writer and singer with the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band has taken the plunge and formed his own group.

Nobody's mourned the passing of the Bonzos more than the group. But its demise seemed inevitable when they did not get the recognition they felt four years hard work deserved. It left high and dry a bunch of personalities with individual talents who were used to working together, in however loose a fashion. In some cases, their present whereabouts and activities are a bit of a mystery. Saxist Rodney Slater is believed to have given up the music business and has taken to social work. Legs Larry Smith produced a record which flopped, and was last seen loudly hailing taxis in London's Wardour Street.

Roger Spear, the ace explosions and machines man has gone out on the road with his own successful and hilarious one man show The Giant Kinetic Wardrobe.

One of the most positive steps for the future has been taken by Neil and bassist Dennis Cowan., They have formed a group simply called THE WORLD, have released a single called "Angelina" and plan an LP release called "Lucky Planet" on November 6.

All the material has been written by Neil and the music ranged from rock to pure pop. Naturally some of the Bonzos flavour has been retained, and humour has not been entirely abandoned from their "live" act.

The line-up includes Neil (lead vocal, piano and guitar) Dennis Cowan (bass, guitar and vocals), Ian Wallace (drums, vocals), and Roger McKew (lead guitar).

Neil appeared in the MM's ale house, the Red Lion, this week, clutching a packet of Gold Flake "Honey Dew" cigarettes, and wearing an elderly sports jacket and a Volkswagen.

"We've played a few gigs so far." he revealed, "and they went down really well."

What led to the formation of the World? "When Vic (Viv Stanshall) got ill, I got a bit fed up. Dennis and Ian Wallace and myself were free, so we thought of forming our own group.

It was all surprisingly easy. We got Roger McKew and we got together last May and started to rehearse. We're signed to Liberty, but we are also free to record with who we like.

It's funny, we didn't know how it would turn out, but we are all pleased with the band, and I'm sure it will go from strength to strength, although it's early days yet.

"I haven't really changed in my song-writing style. I write about the same sort of things really., Some of the songs have Bonzo titles like '95 Pollution Blues.'* I was always interested in the things Vic did and I backed him up. I will still be dealing with images and outspoken ideas, but now I can get more into the music.

"The Bonzos were really individuals who were accidentally teamed up. It didn't break up through disagreements on policy, because we never had a policy. And it was not through personal reasons because we were closer friends at the end than we had been through the whole history of the band. We were just tired physically and mentally. We hadn't had a holiday in all the time the band was together. And we went through some heavy management scenes."

Did Neil feel personal regret at their passing? "Oh, enormous... incredible feeling of nostalgia. When Vic got ill we thought of reforming if it would have helped him in any way.

"He was silly really in that he went on with the Big Grunt right after the Bonzos, without a rest."

What is the significance of the title of Neil's new group - if any?

"Nothing in particular except that it means a 'whole' and not being particularly dogmatic about anything. The name could either have been the 'Strawberry Armpit' type or joke names like 'The Thousand Guitars Of Vernon Motion.' Vernon Motion was the performing parlour snake of the "Thirties you read about in the Sunday colour supplements. It's perfectly true!

"We hope the band will sound fresh and our stage act isn't a heavy moody thing."

What was the LP called?

"Lucky Planet."

Lucky hairnet?

"Yes, that'll do! I've always been the quiet spoken member of the group. I got the title from the Evening Standard horoscope. Today - Jupiter is your Lucky Planet!

"I'd like the group to be Overground rather than Underground. Nothing would please me more than to get into the chart. Not for the money - but to get the recognition. I just hope people accept the World as guys who can play their instruments and are trying to get something across.

(Chris Welch, Melody Maker)

1 - Angelina
2 - Come Out In The Open
3 - Not The First Time
4 - Sail Away
5 - 9-5 Pollution Blues
6 - Lead Us
7 - Things I Could Have Said
8 - Come Out In The Open (Version 2)
9 - Godzilla's Return

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