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

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Various Artists - A Propos d'Ange – In the history of French rock, two names stand out among all others in terms of leadership, originality of style, and influence over all that would follow. Magma's contribution is well known, having...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues