Sunday, 4 May 2008

Lemon Jelly and John Pearse

Mike, Is this you?


I can't play the guitar, in fact I can't play any musical instrument at all, but if I was to try to learn, it would be with the help of John Pearse and his marvelous gramophone record 'Teach Yourself Folk Guitar' released in 1963. It does what it says on the tin, with full examples of basic licks and picks, illustrated by fifteen folk songs standards, all narrated and sung by Mr Pearse, who has a comforting classic 'Noaksy' era 'Blue Peter' type of voice. There is a little pep talk written on the back as well as a chord bank diagram, so there is no excuse for not identifying your 'Mississippi lick' from your 'Memphis lick' from now on.

John Pearse is a remarkable man having recorded this and written the accompanying book at the age of 19. In 1965, the BBC offered him presenting duties on a T.V series called 'Hold Down A Chord' based on the book, which led to a certain kind of celebratory status for him. This was obviously done in the days before attending stage schools and looking squeaky clean was an absolute requirement to present anything on the box. He did another similar series for the American market called 'String Along' and developed a successful company selling guitar strings. There are three albums of his to track down from the late sixties/seventies and he has made a comeback from a career threatening medical accident, to begin performing again. Oh! I nearly forgot to mention, he wrote a book called 'Cooking with Wine' What a bloke!

Lemon Jelly was the nom de plume of a duo, Nick Franglen and Fred Deakin, who specialised in creating ambient electronica, which was notable for it's heavy reliance on quirky samples, set to a laid back beat. They released two albums 'Lost Horizons' in 2002 and '64-95' in 2005 to critical acclaim, with the former producing an unlikely hit with 'Nice Weather For Ducks' which reached number 16 in the U.K charts in 2003. A third album called 'Lemonjelly.ky' released in 2000, which compiled three earlier E.P's of theirs, contains a track called 'The Staunton Lick' which liberally samples the voice of the aforementioned Mr Pearse on 'The Basic Plucking or The Ballard Lick' track. It's a beautiful melding of two talents that delivers a tune that's bound to put a smile on you face; lovely stuff. I can't leave without mentioning the sumptuous artwork of the Lemon Jelly albums which are a a joy to behold, like candy covered dreamscapes of mellowness, these are real achievements considering they are working within the confines of the devil's coasters - C.D's, with all the associated plastic problems that come with designing around that format.

http://www.lemonjelly.ky/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemon_Jelly

http://www.johnpearse.com/index.html

http://www.entrepreneur.com/tradejournals/article/print/173786319.html

3 comments:

Mike said...

...and once again I am eternally grateful for being compared to such a fine example of hirsute manhood.
Bless you Scratchy.

mikey2gorgeous
X

Scratchy Buckles said...

Methinks this might be the start of an ongoing 'hirsuite Mike' separated at birth theme! watch this space...

Mike said...

Found a T-shirt for ya' Scratchy...

http://us.st11.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/demotivators_1997_109989