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Wild Billy Childish & The Musicians Of The British Empire Thatcher's Children Review

Album. Released 2008.  

BBC Review

For those wishing to go beyond the album's strict door policy, there is a world of...

Daryl Easlea 2008

There were no focus groups involved in the making of this record. Billy Childish, artist, troubadour and Kentish Renaissance man turns up with his Musicians Of The British Empire and this beautiful, resolutely analogue album. Working within the musical pallet of The Who, (check Rosie Jones, a song that sounds just like a long-lost Pete Townshend-penned B-side), The Kinks, Phil Spector, The Small Faces and The Pistols, Childish renders the ancient modern with his razor-sharp vignettes. His Thames Estuary delivery and ready wit may not be to everyone's taste, but for those wishing to go beyond the album's strict door policy, there is a world of wonder inside.

The frothy pop of Coffee Date, sung by bass player, Nurse Julie, acts as a counterpoint to Childish's bluff tones, while her turn on He's Making A Tape is one of the best pop records you'll hear all year. With its chorus of, "He's making a tape, it isn't for me/ he's making a tape and you know what that means", it is everything one adores about music; the rush and thrill, combined with lyrics that mean everything and nothing at once. Back Amongst The Medway Losers, Childish's autobiography in song, is a fitting end to Thatcher's Children, an album that leaves the listener breathless. If you've ever wondered about this mythical Medway musician and want somewhere to start, this is a pretty good spot.

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