Friday, August 31, 2018

W.O.C.K On Vinyl: Captain Crabbe And The Garden Gnomes - All Abound for Sydney Town

Before things get too serious here at Rock On Vinyl, I thought it might be fun to post a song / album at the end of each month, that could be categorized as being either Weird, Obscure, Crazy or just plain Korny.
What a strange name for a folk group. It is also intriguing that the album cover does not include any details of the individuals, but some gaps have been filled in after a little research.

These three were the original team of "minstrels" at "Old Sydney Town" but only the two "garden gnomes", Eric Thompson (pictured with guitar) and David Hogston (with Banjo), were still there when Tony Suttor joined Old Sydney Town in 1976. The dog Patch belonged to Eric. "Captain Crabbe" has been identified as Vernon McGrath but the horse still remains unidentified.

In the 1980s, the duo performed at the Argyle Tavern in The Rocks, Sydney.

David composed Sydney Town and the last three listed instrumentals.

This album was definitely recorded and produced in Australia (at Tin Pan Alley Studios) but with two exceptions, the tracks are as much at home in the British Isles as in Australia. The major exception, Little Fishy (a.k.a. Little Fish), is strongly Australian but this is the first time that I have heard anyone sing it other than as a lullaby. The second exception is Sydney Town with a song title that speaks for itself !

Nevertheless, it is of little concern because the group performs very well both instrumentally and vocally. The vinyl ripped, was in good condition and the tracks required very little editing. There is a good mix of songs and instrumentals.

Please note that the track Lusty Young Blacksmith has extensive sexual innuendo and the track Ho Boy Hey Boy is sexually explicit and very politically improper in respect of the female gender. You have been warned !   [extract from australianfolk.blogspot ]

So why have I included this album for this month's WOCK on vinyl post. Well, the album title gives us some hints, and the boy's outfits only add fuel to the fire (aka Korny) but this album is super rare and so ticks the Obscure box. Something different I know, but I think you're gonna like these little ditties. Thanks to the Victorian Bush Folkie website for providing this rip.
Released on the Bunyip label, the vinyl has been ripped to MP3 (256kps) and full album artwork is included.
01. Bonnie Dundee (instrumental)
02. 10,000 miles
03. Sydney Town
04. Maggie May
05. Botany Bay
06. Drunken sailor
07. Little fishy
08. Molly Malone
09. Foggy foggy dew (English traditional)
10. Molly McInstry (instrumental)
11. Billy O'Donnell O'Day
12. The keel row (instrumental)
13. Wild Rover
14. Lusty young blacksmith
15. Black velvet band
16. Four Mary's
17. Patsy Fagan
18. Ho boy hey boy
19. Flying pie man (instrumental)
20. Sam Hall
21. Home boys home (instrumental)
22. Thoughts by a stream (instrumental)
23. Waterfall (instrumental)
24. March of the gnomes (instrumental)

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