Sunday, 21 July 2013

Jonny and the Baptists

Ok, my friends, I have a new favourite obsession. We heard this band called Jonny and the Baptists on a radio 4 comedy programme called Sketch-o-rama and then were lucky enough to see them play live at the Distraction Club in June.  I like the name Sketch-o-rama which just makes me want to add the suffix o-rama to the end of everything to make it more fun in a zany madcap sort of way. Spiderman totally disagrees about the effectiveness of this, but I’m not giving in just yet.

The band is made up of Jonny and Paddy who sing and play guitar and sometimes Amy on violin. Anyway, I found them warm, engaging, topical and hilarious. They are brilliant musicians and their lyrics are clever and snarky and often based on real political/newsworthy events. They also do angry and embittered exceedingly well.

With a name like Jonny and the Baptists--clearly they might be offensive to some. But I wanted it out there for the record, that not every religious person is a small-minded asshole with no sense of humour. I am a committed Quaker and God is the centre of my universe, but I also love to laugh and find them irresistible.

We recently bought their self titled CD and have pre-ordered their upcoming CD Bigger than Judas (see what I mean? That works on so many levels and references my favourite Beatle who was murdered 3 days before my 11th birthday totally ruining that year for me).

The CD contains some old favourites that we heard live/on radio as well as some new ones.

Do it in the library--all about how to stop public libraries from closing (a huge issue here in the UK which I have previously blogged about) by having sex in them--which I’m sure would bring in more people! 

Upper middle class gangster children- about how the posh privileged behave (what is it with rich white teens that seems to turn them into unconvincing rappers?) and how they will be running the country one day--what a scary thought.

These 2 are available in video form on their website--go to  then click on videos. You can also watch the video of another favourite that I hope will make Better than Judas--Scotland don’t leave me about Scotland possibly becoming independent from the United Kingdom.

They are well worth checking out --but if you don’t like swearing and sex then obviously give the library one a miss, but do watch the others. They make me laugh out loud every time. Which is rather unfortunate since we don’t have the internet at home and I have to watch their videos at the public library. 

There are others on the CD like the freak-o-rama that is Quentin Blake--where lovable national treasure and children‘s book illustrator, whom we have met several times, is some sort of weird axe wielding homicidal maniac--he must have drunk the potion in the can of coke left on the fridge by Vyvian Bastard in my favourite episode of The Young Ones.

But the surprise song for me was Give Blood. It contained the fact that because of a law that was passed during the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, sexually active homosexual men in the UK cannot give blood. They were deemed too much a risk, but shouldn’t all blood be screened anyway?  Why is it alright for a promiscuous heterosexual man who has unprotected sex to give blood, but not a homosexual--who might very well be committed and monogamous and MARRIED (since the new law *finally* supports it)???

So the first surprise was the topic of the song--I definitely am going to get onto my MP about this. But the second surprise was how *sexy* the song is. It is sung in that languid, sultry, bluesy style I love and when they got to the bit about Paddy’s long yellow hair and tiny beard, I was so hot and bothered I nearly had to turn the CD off and go and do that thing that everybody does but pretends they don’t. I haven’t had a song make me want to re-enact the Divinyls--so much since I first heard Michael Hutchence of INXS sing Need You Tonight. Whew.

If you are going to the Edinburgh Festival--do go and see them.  If you aren’t, do watch their videos and buy their CD. I’m sure they could work out a deal with you about overseas postage for my American peeps. They were super friendly when we ordered the CD and sent us a sweet note on a scraggly bit of lined paper (they are struggling artists after all and can’t afford posh stationary!) They even signed our CD with lots of love and kisses (three xxx from Paddy and two xx from Jonny--so Paddy loves us more) --which thrilled my little heart to no end.

They ought to have a digital presence where you can pay to download songs so they can get a worldwide following. Helen Arney sells her stuff through Bandcamp. Guys, if you read this--think about it!! 

My verdict: fab-o-rama.

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