Exposé Online banner

Vivian Stanshall / Big Grunt — In Session
(Mega Dodo MEP4, 1970/2016, LP)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2016-10-23

In Session Cover art

Victor Anthony Stanshall AKA Vivian Stanshall, the eccentric singer-songwriter, author, poet, and wit was best known for his work with the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, his exploration of the British upper classes in Sir Henry at Rawlinson End, and acting as Emcee on Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells. After the Bonzos broke up in 1970, Viv started a new project biG Grunt. In addition to Viv being the lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, he enlisted two other former Bonzos, Dennis Cowan (bass) and Roger Ruskin Spear (saxophone), as well as former Bonzo roadies Bubs White (guitar) and Borneo Fred Munt (guitar), plus drummer Ian Wallace. This short-lived project never played live, but on March 16, 1970 they did appear on John Peel’s show Top Gear. This limited edition yellow vinyl 12-inch EP captures those original BBC recordings. Side A opens with “Blind Date,” a country blues-pop song with spoken lyrics about meeting a blind date. Viv’s wry humor shines through, much like Frank Zappa’s “Lonesome Cowboy Burt” from 200 Motels. The killer lyric is “It was no surprise that you were a pygmy.” Side A closes with “Eleven Moustachioed Daughters,” a hard tribal rock number about voodoo and witchcraft, the rhythm line reminding me of The Animals’ “Story of Bo-Diddley.” Side B opens with “The Strain,” sounding like the Cookie Monster singing a Sesame Street song about constipation. And the EP closes with the previously unreleased instrumental “Cyborg Signal.” This is a very cool 70s psych tune, a bit like early Quicksilver Messenger Service, with echoed guitar, trombone, chimes, and organ sounding like a spaghetti western soundtrack. All in all, this EP is great fun!


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases, 1970 recordings

Related artist(s): Vivian Stanshall / Big Grunt

Latest news

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Various Artists - Periferic 2000 Folk-World-Ethno from Hungary – Concurrent with Periferic’s second space/prog rock compilation comes another collection of Hungarian folk/ethnic music. Whereas last time they featured many groups with a slightly modern bent, whose...  (2002) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues