15
May 07

Tanya’s Army Of Awfulness: LIEUTENANT PIGEON

FT + I Hate Music2 comments • 1,910 views

pigeon.jpgHa ha, finally I get the jump on my arch-nemesis Tom Ewing and his music loving ways. Over on his tedious attempt to commit suicide / listen to every UK number one ever he is stuck in the hinterland on 1972. Possibly with the odd sequin between his teeth and losing the ability to spell (due wholly to Noddy “short for Nodward” Holder). Well I am ahead of him now, as Lieutenant Pigeon’s biggest hit (and to be fair only hit of note, though the notes issue is one I shall shortly get to) was also from 1972, which he hasn’t reached yet. So let me put on my finest false beard and predict what Mr Ewing will fawn over this song.

“I have never been convinced by the excuse that a track is merely a novelty single. Mouldy Old Dough is a perfect example. It may well be a flashback of music hall styles, it may have an old lady bashing out ragtime jazz on a detuned piano. But what underpins the genius of Mouldy Old Dough is the glittering pop cynicism of the British music audience. They had taken Marc Bolan to their hearts, were in the process of assimilating David Bowie’s Antony Newley impression and therefore were ready and willing to grab anything that sounded a bit different. And some giffers shouting Mouldy Old Dough over sloppy ragtime was as different (and eventually less harmful) than The Glitter Band. Let it in your head, and it will never leave. And your life will be better for it.10

HA! Take that Ewing. I have seen your novelty sympathies and know where they lie. This is what I would say if let loose on the amusingly titles Popular.

“I have never been convinced by the excuse that a track is merely a novelty single. Mouldy Old Dough is a perfect example. It may well be a flashback of music hall styles, it may have an old lady bashing out ragtime jazz on a detuned piano. But it is still shit. Indeed it is shit because of this. What underpins the idiocy of Mouldy Old Dough is the glittering pop cynicism of the British music audience, who will buy any old tat if it makes them smile for a second. After all these fools had taken Marc Bolan to their hearts and were in the process of assimilating David Bowie’s piss-poor secondhand Antony Newley impression as the nest best thing. These micro-brained pop fans were ready and willing to grab anything that sounded a bit different. And some giffers shouting Mouldy Old Dough over sloppy ragtime was as different as The Glitter Band, and just as rubbish. IT IS PEOPLE SHOUTING MOULDY OLD DOUGH! Let it in your head, and it will never leave. And your life will be worse for it.”

On top of which how many bands can you think of which have the lead singers Mum as a full member? Especially a Mum who plays piano so badly. LOOK AT THEM! Mouldy Old Shite more like.

Comments

  1. 1
    Batman on 29 May 2007 #

    The one thing that still amazes me about this record is how it managed to flop in the UK on its original release in February 1972. The UK singles chart at the time was full of untalented no-hopers such as T.Rex, Elvis Presley, Sly and the Family Stone, The Faces and Stevie Wonder, to name just a few. You’d have thought that the ever perceptive UK record buyers of the day would have welcomed such a unique talent as Lieutenant Pigeon, with their highly original and utterly unique brand of music. But remarkably, for some strange reason, this incredible debut sank without a trace.
    Fortunately, after gaining huge success in Belgium – where it deservedly shot to the top slot in the singles chart – it was reissued in the UK, where this time, it was finally recognised as a work of pure genius, and at long last achieved its rightful place at the top of the UK singles chart.
    Unfortunately, when it came to the release of their follow up single ‘Desperate Dan’, the band alienated much of their huge fan base by completely abandoning the distinctive sound of their dazzling debut. Had they chosen to stick more closely to the winning formula that they’d created with ‘Mouldy Old Dough’, I have no doubt that the history of British pop music would look very different today.
    As well as releasing three classic albums, Lieutenant Pigeon went on to release nine more singles. When listened to back to back, it’s hard to believe that these eleven singles were all created by the same four individuals. The breadth and scope of the diverse musical styles covered is absolutely astounding.
    Sadly, on the 26th September 1978, after an ecstatic performance in Luxembourg, Lieutenant Pigeon walked off stage together for the last time.
    Lieutenant Pigeon’s recording career ended far too soon. The one consolation being that we’ve all been left with a timeless body of work with which to wallow in. Why not dig out your copy of ‘Mouldy Old Music’ right now, and remind yourself exactly how unjust the world of music really is.

  2. 2
    Marcello Carlin on 30 May 2007 #

    It’s not as easy as it looks, is it?

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