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3 Daft Monkeys
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  • Social Vertigo
  • The Antiquainted And The Arcane








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    3 Daft Monkeys

    Related Artists - Billy Bragg, Dannicus, Steeleye Span
    Related Genres - Folk

    Social Vertigo ( 2008 )
    Paranoid Big Brother / Eyes Of Gaia / Human Nature / Go Tell The Bees / Guardian Angel / Since / One Fine Day / Social Vertigo / Little Secret / Lem Em In / Monkey And The Slippers / Dance Of The Old Man Of Storr

    Being from the south-west of England originally, it's great for me to see a ground-swell of talented artists emerge from the region. 3 Daft Monkeys are Cornish and favourites of the festival circuit, a three piece consisting of Tim Aston, Athene Roberts and Jamie Waters. If you're an uncharitable sort, you can think of them as Levellers-lite, but really that's severely uncharitable, as they have their own character, which any cursory listen to 'Social Vertigo' will reveal for you. They've influences ranging from folk, dance, punk, gypsy, calpyso, etc, etc. 'Social Vertigo' is their 2nd LP proper and put quite simply, it's superb. The musicianship is something to wallow in, particularly the fiddle sounds of classically trained Athene Roberts. Album highlight 'Human Nature' in particular is a virtuso performance from all three band members but it's the eastern flavoured, hypnotic and weaving fiddle playing that really spells out this bands strengths. Oh, they have many strengths, 'Social Vertigo' is comprised of worthy original compositions throughout. 'Paranoid Big Brother' kicks things off in addictive fashion, clever touches here and there, slightly tongue in cheek and lots of fun. 'Go Tell The Bees' is a phrase meaning to spread gossip, if you tell the bees, they'll spread the word. It's a very cleverly arranged track sporting excellent acoustic guitar work.

    These songs, reportedly, have been around for a couple of years as the band have honed their arrangements. So, tight playing, clever and well worked out arrangements are attractive features of many of the tracks. Highlights pop up right through the album, 'One Fine Day' has a fabulous instrumental intro, the title track is something that's bound to go down well during live performance as it turns from a sedate waltz into a party romp. 'Let Me In' is slightly folkier, this album isn't all a party romp, we do have serious subjects covered and a range of styles. I just wish I could properly do them justice and manage to describe them all. 'Social Vertigo' is repeat playable and well worth an investigation. One of the joys that the internet has opened up is we don't have to just listen to what the suits at the record labels tell us to. 'Social Vertigo' is a proper treat, self released but available from all good record stores from March 3rd 2008. There's a plug for you.

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    The Antiquainted And The Arcane ( 2011 )
    The Antiquated And The Arcane / Under One Sun / Just A Ride / Doors Of Perception / Days Of The Dance / Perfect Stranger / Time To Evolve / Casualties Of Tour / Civilised Debauchery / She Said / Love (SIC) Fool / Love Life

    3 Daft Monkeys continue to quietly build up a fan-base through relentless touring and shunning the mainstream music industry. 3 Daft Monkeys and their joyous folk swirl this time around take us on a journey through their lives, it seems. Travelling, touring and playing makes 3 Daft Monkeys happy fellows, it seems. The album title by the way refers to a mystic society in Cornwall and the music contains a typically 3 Daft Monkeys mixture of styles from folk through to punk taking in Celtic music somewhere along the journey. This by the way is another album I should have reviewed ages ago, I mean some PR people were kind enough to send it to me and what do I do? Have a difficult year! I have spent the last twelve months or so in a new and very demanding job, but dammit I want to make time to listen to music and fall in love with it all over again. 'The Antiquated And The Arcane' is a good start in such a process, it's lively and fun, never takes itself too seriously except when making points that need to be taken seriously and there's just no doubting '3 Daft Monkeys' have a way with both words and songs, songs that sing. So, we move from the lovely acoustic guitar and flute solo of 'Time To Evolve' to the fun 'Under One Sun' which populates itself with almost a poppy chorus complete with 'la la la' backing vocals. Sure to be a hit!

    'Casualties Of Tour' is clearly a tale about themselves but tongue in cheek, this band always have a sense of humour as well as story-telling abilities and world/political observations. I know what I wanted though and it's a soaring fiddle solo. Thankfully 'Civilised Debauchery' provides one and makes your feet move and stomp in time. The closing 'Love Life' was an early favourite from 'The Antiquated And The Arcane' in the Denning household and remains a firm prized treasure these many months later. Life affirming and joyous then, talented and able to present albums as cohesive collections rather than random moments to be downloaded - 3 Daft Monkeys now just need the national exposure their efforts surely deserve.

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    this page last updated 14/07/12


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