Get this crazy baby off my head!


Kilburn + The High Roads Ft. Ian Dury

Kilburn + The High Roads Ft. Ian Dury - Wotabunch! - 1978 - Warner Bros.

Wotabunch! was released by WEA in 1977 following the success of Ian Dury as a solo artist. It is technically the 'second album' by Kilburn and the High-Roads. When talking about Kilburn and the High-Roads' output in his track-by-track comments in the booklet for Repertoire Records 2CD Ian Dury & The Blockheads: Reasons to be Cheerful retrospective, Ian Dury said: "The Kilburns made two albums, but they were both the same. The second one was to try and stop the first one coming out! In fact it didn't prevent them, because Warner Bros. Records waited until I had some success, and then they put out that album called Wotta Bunch." Wotabunch! was recorded in January 1974 at Apple Studios in London shortly after two line-up changes in the band. Two long-term members, bassist Humphrey Ocean and drummer David Newton-Rohoman, were no longer in the band at the time. In fact, new bassist Charlie Sinclair had only just joined the group when the sessions began. Newton-Rohoman had been sacked virtually on the eve of the recording sessions, being replaced by session musician Louis Larose. Charlie Sinclair and Louie Larose had left the Pub Rock band Phoenix (led by Roy St. John), in which David Newton-Rohomon replaced Larose on drums. Though the session went fairly well, with recording interspersed with trips to local pubs, there was a problem with capturing the band's live sound. This was a problem that the Kilburns had suffered before when making demos the previous year and would suffer again when making Handsome. Some blame is given to Larose's conventional drumming style (and later, on the Handsome sessions, to producer Hugh Murphy). Despite the trouble, Wotabunch! is much closer to their live sound than the softer, polished Handsome versions. Dury was not pleased with the release due to a remix featuring the addition of strings. The final remix for the recordings was done more or less behind Dury's back, while on he was on a week-long holiday. However, this was soon to be irrelevant, as shortly after the sessions were over Raft (the record label that had signed the band) folded. The bands on the Raft label were told that they would go to WEA, who owned Raft, but after a visit from WEA's top man Joe Smith at a concert, Kilburn & The Highroads were dropped. In 1977, following the success of Ian Dury's solo album New Boots and Panties!!, and the good response to "Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll", Warner Bros. Records issued the Raft recordings as Wotabunch! WEA listed the band as 'Kilburn & The Highroads featuring Ian Dury' in order to capitalize on Dury's success. The cover art, featuring cardboard cut-outs of the band posed with a group of stuffed animals, features a different line-up of the band than the one that recorded the album. As of 2010, the album has not been re-issued on CD. – WIKIPEDIA

This album was released in 1978 by Warner Brothers. Ian Dury had already released his classic “New Boots and Panties!” in 1977 when Kilburn + The High Roads had split up. This album was an attempt to cash in on Ian Dury’s success with NB&P. Ian Dury was displeased with many aspects of this release (explained in the Wiki article). Having said that, the album is quite good. The material is not as strong as later Dury solo material and his recordings with the Blockheads, but even in January 1974 when these tracks were recorded at Apple Studios in London, Ian Dury’s potential as a songwriter was emerging. Eleven of the 12 tracks were composed by Ian Dury and keyboardist Russell Hardy. An ace geezer and working class hero, Ian Dury was a superb songwriter and a lyrical genius. Kilburn & the High Roads played their first public concert at the Croydon School of Art in London in 1971. Their sound combined old-time rock & roll, R&B, jazz, reggae, and music hall. Dury was a very distinctive vocalist with a thick Cockney accent. The band had a rather threatening appearance on stage, looking like a bunch of street bums, and Dury using his limp (resulting from having polio as a youngster), often in a humorously, menacing manner. He also had a shrunken arm. But his lasting popularity owed nothing to sickly sentimentalism—anyone seeking to patronise Dury would have been given short-shrift for indulging in such “a load of old bollo”. Always able to laugh at himself, he will always be remembered, not only as a great rock musician, but also as a true "peoples' champion. Ian did an immense amount of work for people with special needs, and the underprivileged in society. Read more about the late, great man @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Dury. [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 76.9 Mb]


1 The Call Up - 2:24
2 Crippled With Nerves - 3:02
3 Patience (So What?) - 2:04
4 You're More Than Fair - 3:03
5 Upminster Kid - 3:26
6 Billy Bentley (Promenades Himself in London) - 3:34
7 Huffety Puff - 2:13
8 Rough Kids - 3:15
9 The Roadette Song - 3:05
10 The Badger & The Rabbit - 2:39
11 The Mumble Rumble & Cocktail Rock - 3:41
12 Pam's Moods - 2:57

All tracks composed by Ian Dury & Russell Hardy except "Billy Bentley" by Ian Dury and Charlie Hart


Keith Lucas - Guitar
Charlie Sinclair - Bass
Russell Hardy - Piano
Louis Larose - Drums
Davey Payne - Saxophones
Ian Dury - Lead Vocals


Kilburn and the High Roads were a British rock and roll band formed by Ian Dury in 1970, and was the first band formed by Dury. The band released two studio albums and had one compilation, and separated in 1977 when Dury left to form the more prominent band The Blockheads. Dury formed Kilburn & the High Roads in 1970. The band consisted of Ian Dury as lead vocalist and lyricist, pianist Russell Hardy, guitarist Nick Cash (real name Keith Lucas - member of 999) and bassist Humphrey Ocean. The band released their debut album Handsome in 1975. The band released their second album Wotabunch! in 1977, before the band separated. Dury then went onto form The Blockheads the same year as the band's separation, and produced The Best Of Kilburn & the High Roads compilation album in 1983. – WIKIPEDIA

BIO [ Kilburn & the High Roads ] © Steve Huey, allmusic.com

Kilburn & the High Roads were one of the most-respected bands on London's early-'70s pub rock scene, and were just as important (if not more so) for beginning the career of beloved new wave cult figure Ian Dury. Label difficulties prevented the group from leaving much of a recorded legacy, but their eclecticism, offbeat stage presence, and droll Britishness had an undeniable influence on punk and new wave. Dury (28 years old at the time) formed Kilburn & the High Roads in late 1970 while working as a lecturer at the Canterbury College of Art; the name simply came from a street sign for Kilburn High Road. Initially, the band was a part-time affair that included several of Dury's former students. The complete lineup featured Dury on lead vocals, guitarist Ted Speight, saxophonist George Khan, pianist Russell Hardy, bassist Charlie Hart, and drummer Terry Day; saxophonist Davey Payne soon replaced Khan. Kilburn & the High Roads made their concert debut in December 1971 at the Croydon School of Art in London; their sound drew mostly from old-time rock & roll, but also mixed in R&B, jazz, reggae, and music hall, plus Dury's thick Cockney accent. Their stage personas were even more distinctive; Dury's pronounced limp (the result of childhood polio) only added to his bizarre menace, and the rest of the band simply looked (and danced) like a bunch of misfits. By 1973, Kilburn & the High Roads were playing regular gigs all over the London pub rock circuit, becoming more popular than just about every similar band save for Dr. Feelgood and Brinsley Schwarz. That July, they signed a deal with Warner subsidiary Raft; by this time, the lineup now featured guitarist Keith Lucas (who would later join 999 under the name Nick Cash), bassist Ian Smith, and drummer David Rohoman would soon replace Day. The group completed an album in early 1974, but unfortunately it was scrapped when Warner shut down the entire Raft division. Charlie Sinclair took over on bass for the sessions, as did former Eggs Over Easy drummer George Butler. Adrift for a spell, Kilburn & the High Roads eventually hooked up with Pye subsidiary Dawn in late 1974, where they recorded their debut single, "Rough Boys" b/w "Billy Bentley (Promenades Himself in London)." Rohoman was back on drums, and longtime pianist Hardy was replaced by Rod Melvin. Unfortunately, by the time the band's debut album Handsome was finally released in 1975, their momentum had stalled — a Kilburn & the High Roads album simply couldn't command the attention it would have a year or two earlier. Tired of the music-biz hassles, the group disbanded that same summer. Dury formed a new group by the end of the year called Ian Dury & the Kilburns, but they too broke up in summer 1976 when Dury's doctors advised him to steer clear of live performances. Still, Dury kept writing songs; he eventually put together a new backing band called the Blockheads, signed with Stiff Records in 1978, and became a U.K. sensation. Thanks to his success, Warner finally issued the Kilburn album it had been sitting on for four years, under the title Wotabunch.


A.O.O.F.C said...


P/W is aoofc

Certifiablockhead said...

plain wonderful...of course I'm partial to Ian Dury, no holds...cheerio

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,dude. Love your literary sketches. Reasons to be cheerful! TVM & TTU soon...Paul