Pot Sounds

Bands that make comedy records are not known for their longevity and critical acclaim. Stripped of their context comedy songs are prone to date and just become un-funny. Just think of all the bands that have gone down that road, The Wurzels, Electric Six, Wierd Al, etc, the list goes on rather ingloriously. Most readers will remember at least one of those artists and chances are that you have fond memories of some of the songs but more likely than anything else you probably don’t own an album. So what if anything makes the Lancashire Hot Pots different from these long forgotten comedy acts?

The short answer is absolutely nothing. This isn’t an album that is striving to break new musical ground, if anything it’s downright regressive. The prevailing musical style across the album is the most simplistic acoustic guitar folk possible. If you want to know what the Lancashire Hot Pots sound like then just cast your mind back to the extremely annoying “Knock-off Nigel” adverts. There are also some ‘adventurous’ detours into country, but the fact is that if most of the melodies are so familiar that they are probably in the public domain by now. On top of this indifferent and unadventurous song writing is complemented by an equally flat and uninspiring production.

However it is probably unfair to criticise a comedy record for being musically uninspiring. The main emphasis here is undoubtedly the words and there is no doubt about it that lyrically the Lancashire Hot Pots are often both inspired and genuinely amusing. ‘I Fear Ikea’ will instantly strike a chord with anyone who has been unfortunate enough to find themselves stranded in the store and despite it. Of course this all depends on what a listener personally finds funny. Some people might say that too often the lyrics while funny are simply treading ground which has been much better covered by Peter Kay. The fact that they are going on tour as a support act for Peter Kay associate Paddy McGuiness and that the song ‘Uncle Bernard’ contains the line “you sound like a Peter Kay routine” only helps to add fuel to detractors fire.

I however would argue that the comparisons with Kay are not wholly fair as most of the time it probably rests wholly on a shared accent. The Lancashire Hot Pots are often very amusing in their own little way. If you like Phoenix Nights and Peter Kay in general this will probably crack you up, but like with all the comedy bands mentioned at the beginning of this article I severely doubt whether anyone could find themselves playing this album again and again. As comedy routine it would earn 4 stars but collected on a CD Pot Sounds is clearly no match for either its name sake. It wouldn’t be completely unfair to say this album is musically totally without merit, and with no great hooks it really is hard to see anyone coming back to it time after time


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