Tickled Pink

TICKLED PINK - Terpsichore Polyhymnia
Talking Elephant Records TECD074

For those of you who had it in your heads that Tickled Pink were just another folk dance band then how wrong could you be – or me for that matter? Starting with an arrangement of the traditional song ‘My Son John’ (although you’d hardly recognise it here) this is serious folk-rock at its best. With outrageous guitar solos and a full on rock treatment this is the kind of outfit that you perhaps might not feel comfortable taking your Granny to see but the kids would really get a blast from them. Even Jez Lowe’s ‘Japs And English’ isn’t sacred in the hands of these guys although I’m sure Jez would thoroughly approve.

It’s been a while since I heard a full blown folk-rock (9 minutes) work-out but “Need For Speed” with it’s James Bond orchestral stabs courtesy of Rob Kay’s keyboards bring a true sense of dynamics to the proceedings so much so that by the time you get to ‘Speed The Plough’ the melody almost pales alongside the introduction. I love a band that is willing to stick its neck out by taking chances and trust me Tickled Pink do it magnificently well. There’s no slouching in the arrangements either with sources as diverse as Jimmy Shand (courtesy of Simon Care) in Hawaii or even touches of Lemon Jelly/Albion Band thrown in for good measure on ‘Let The Bullgine Run/Johnny Come Down To Hilo’. Even politics gets a look in with the Bragg-esque ‘Apathy’ which takes the anthemic view of …we don’t like any party so stick it where the sun don’t shine.

Let’s set the record straight that here is a band that knows how to have a seriously good time and if you’re prepared to let your hair down along with them you’ll be guaranteed to have a great time listening. If you like your music presented as a substantial smorgasbord instead of an insignificant salad then this is the album for you.

Pete Fyfe

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The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 62 of The Living Tradition magazine.