Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Desert Island Discs 55 Helping Hands by Butcher Boy

55 Helping Hands by Butcher Boy 2011

Another one that is probably a tad too high , but it gets extra points for the fact that when Butcher Boy's 3 lps came along  I was in a place when all the lps I was buying seemd to be by people that I already owned stuff by.

I first got into Butcher boy down to lazy comparisons to Belle and Sebastian but although there is a winsome similarity in their writing the bands for me are poles apart. The poetic lyrics are less straight story telling than Belle and Sebastian whereas the backing is less pop and has a slightly classical feel. The whole thing can feel a tad studied at times , but the pure romance of the cello , guitars , violins and piano stops it being too clever or cloying

By Helping Hands they had really hit their stride, the arrangements are spot on,  in places breath takingly beautiful and John Blain Hunt seems more confident as a singer rather than a vocalist. The part talk part sing approach for me fits the poetry structure of the lyrics (although I can see this dividing opinion). There are some lovely images in there "bubble gum smiles" and with the 3rd lp there is a more tradtiional pop element to the songs structure and as a result the melodies linger longer.

A tad twee for some but for me an achingly beautiful sound

You can buy Helping Hands here


  1. Not on my list, but a good choice. The voice still an obstacle keeping me from loving the band. Bluebells very lovely...

    #55 - DAVID MEAD - Indiana (2004)

    - TJ's earlier pick was the catchy Yours & Mine. I'm torn between the fine debut Luxury Of Time and the introspective Indiana. I've opted for the more personal quiet one...


  2. I brought Butcher boy on your recommendation David. Slowly but surely...
    'Indiana' Mead's best album I think TT; I went for Yours and Mine on a 'first' love kind of impulse...

  3. An excellent album that I've put quite a bit higher on my list. This really was a giant leap forward from their previous two albums.If they were around 30 years ago they'd be the darlings of Postcard.
    # 55 Weeping Willows - Fear and Love. Having started out as a covers band, they slowly carved their own style until they got to the wonderful 'Fear and Love'in 2007.The whole album is strong but these are the highlights

  4. Def going to get Indiana
    Bb are one of those bands I think you have to stick with. I remember being underwhelmed by the debut but then suddenly realising that it was forever on the CD player

  5. Hi phil I picked this up after one of your comp CDs


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