UK anti-folkers Sergeant Buzfuz wormed their way into the 6 Music schedules with a series of satirical ditties about corruption in the Catholic church. Whilst their lyrical content seemed to hail from a completely different century, protesting about Papal orgies, the suppression of information and the suicidal ex-wives of Priests, the treatment sounds quite like nothing else – traditional folk fiddles battle with honking horns, Joe Murphy’s Steve Harley-esque vocals, mob cheers and some abnormally funky bass guitar lines.
Part two of the song is a laidback, acoustic treatment which wanly documents various incidents of corruption, Murphy’s vocals seeming detached and despairing. Part 3 then pans out into a louder, more anarchic scene, blasts in with a fanfare, and continues the theme with a distinct sense of vengeance. ...Popes manages to be political, amusing, adventurous, intelligent and incredibly memorable, features which are rare in isolation, and seldom ever found in the same song at the same time. It’s quirky without being whacky, imaginative without being self-indulgent, and funny without being throwaway. It may even at times make you feel angry.
In the underbelly of the indie music scene, this is exactly what the best material sounded like in the noughties – far away from the bright lights of the Reading main stage and the predictability of the XFM daytime schedules, there’s a sense that the seeds of something more thrilling are being sown.
[Spotify (Part 2)]
[Spotify (Part 3)]
[YouTube (Part 3)]
[Album: High Slang]