At the end of last year, we reviewed Penguins Go Pop, a Norwich band led by local legend Richard Penguin, formed in the late 80s and reformed in 2013. They played catchy tunes telling quirky stories and were very much the DIY ethos of early indie, originally an approach and not a guitar sound.
We wished we’d heard Penguins Go Pop back in the day, as it’s the kind of band indie fans can love and grow nostalgic with over time.
Now here’s Sergeant Buzfuz, a young band offering young fans that chance of forming a loving and lifelong attachment to their quirky music. With song titles such as There’s Idiots, Then There’s Idiots With Money and The Tongues They Wag Away – you can guess the subject matter, and it’s delivered in a nasally, chatty way (not quite as whiny as Jilted John for very old readers) and reasonably sophisticated but gentle music.
Clouds In Your Eyes is more serious and approaches folk; there’s probably a career down that path if the indie jokers road fails (and this is their sixth album, so world domination is taking its time).
Opener is the previously mentioned There’s Idiots … and it’s bit of a 60s rocker / soundtrack to a Jerry Anderson series involving undersea contraptions, with tight snare and guitar holding together a psychedelic sound, complete with fingerclicks and flute solo. It’s a bit of uneasy mix of serious rock and fun.
Theresa McKee is poppier but more of the same, but they hit the full quirk quotient with The Tongues They Wag Away, while Who Art In Seven Hills / Rare and Racy is a tribute to their native Sheffield, a Lovecats-aping tribute to a former book store kicking off with the Lord’s Prayer Sheff-style.
Stand out is the Squeeze-alike Fill In The Blanks, a rather marvellous pop tune about a girl getting strung along by a conman (“He said he was a trader at HSBC / He took her for a meal and a G and a T / Said he had a business trip to Paree / You can fill in the blanks”, but later proving she’s more than a match.
If you want wistful and witty street poetry set to a slightly 60s brand of true indie, with odd nods to folk, this is your lucky day. We might play it a few times and see if sticks; it’s got a certain quirky charm; at least it’s never dull.