Pigbag – Volume 1: Dr Heckle & Mr Jive – Double CD
London’s iconic Fire Records has been making quite a habit of re-introducing some of the most vital music from the past of late and this is no exception. Led by the dance floor anthem that rocked into the UK pop charts all the way to #3, “Papa’s Got A Brand News Pigbag,” a song that has since become a signature at football matches and television shows alike, Pigbag returns with the definitive collection of their output: Pigbag Volume One and Pigbag Volume Two, encompassing both of their full length releases “Dr. Heckle & Mr. Jive” and “Lend An Ear” along with a collection of their pulsing singles and b-sides and a clutch of amazing live performances. Charging out of the gate (and just in time for the World Cup!) is a fresh slab of vinyl sporting new remixes of “Papa” that are sure to have people grooving from the UK to South Africa – especially the “Vuvuzela Remx,” with it’s blast of horns mixing with the favored instrument for the tourney. That should be just enough to hold you over for a few days as Volume’s One and Two kick it up a notch with fresh mastered versions of stone cold groove classics that sound more at place with the current indie/world music resurgence than they ever have. Don’t mistake them for a one hit wonder when you hear “Sunny Day” or “Getting Up” kick in, or “Hit The ‘O” Deck” and their smoky live cover of “Smiling Faces.” We can personally attest that these tunes are killer – one and all. Mixing punk, funk, jazz, ska, reggae and afrobeat into a bewitching brew – Pigbag delivers baby! The list of current tastemakers that owe them a debt of gratitude would take days to run through. This is hardly a simple re-issue, but rather a long needed re-introduction. ABOUT PIGBAG: Formed from creative jam sessions in punk’s aftermath, the young group gathered steam after convincing Simon Underwood to join the fun following his departure from The Pop Group. Soon, the band would find themselves on Dick O’Dell’s Y Records and naming themselves after early member Chris Hamlin’s bag that he always carried. Cheekily naming their first single in reference to the Jame’s Brown number, they delivered an instrumental classic of their own with “Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag” and stormed the charts. Following with funky singles and the massive success of debut album “Dr. Heckle & Mr. Jive,” they embarked on a tour that began to fragment the group, while also bringing several appearances on “Top of the Pops” and other highlights. All the while, “Papa” pounded relentlessly on the dance floor and the football terraces, culminating in a triumphant third showing on the Christmas edition of “Top of the Pops.” For their second album, “Lend An Ear,” the group would add vocalist Angela Jaeger and stretch their sound accordingly. The public remained transfixed on their earlier singles and never warmed to the change as quickly as the band would have liked, and soon they would decide to part ways. While the early work still makes one’s pulse quicken, this second act deserves a fresh listen as it showcases an incredibly confident collection of players pushing the boundaries of where they had been before – with spectacular results. ************************************* This isn’t the only bit of excitement as the rumors are true, the band is currently rehearsing with the possibility of select reunion dates in the near future. Much more on this later!