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152) Hamell On Trial - Choochtown

I’m eighteen, my grandparents are up visiting from England, I had fell through the door at midnight as my gran was coming back from the toilet, not happy. The next day she decided I had been in bed to long and she came into my room to open the curtains and my window just after I had put this magnificent album on. She heard the word “fuck” several times in a matter of seconds., guess what, not happy.

 

I got divorced at twenty-six and I went to England for a funeral and her neighbour asked how my marriage was going. My gran informed the neighbour, very well, and when I raised this my gran said no one needs to know your business. She is long gone, and I grin now as I accept she was from a different era but back then I’m sure in my head there was a “Go Fuck Yourself.”

 

Yes, this is the great opening song to Choochtown that I heard on an Uncut CD years ago and took a chance, still to this day I love it. Ed Hamell knows how to strum a guitar, listen to the wonderful Hamell’s Ramble and I’m Gonna Watch You Sleep his voice is clear over minimal music and but still immensely catchy.

 

Over sixteen tracks you will be introduced to Bobby, Uncle Morris, Nancy, Judy, and Joe Brush, oh and Bill Hicks as well. This is Ed telling us about various characters who all have their moments with sex, drugs, and drink. It’s the sleazy side of life but this is not an album to bring you down but will enhance it.

 

The title track Choochtown is a four-minute story that plays out like a movie, underpinned by rolling drums, clever and unique.

 

The Lottery is enhanced by rough and ready backing vocals and The Long Drive slows us down with his talking like vocals, perfect late-night listening.

 

Recorded rough and ready this has been a favourite for many a year and makes me smile thinking of my gran and I can still picture her face as the word “fuck” was repeated again and again.

 

9/10

 

GIVE IT A STREAM: Choochtown

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