George Clinton once said: ‘who said a funk band cant play rock music, who said a rock band cant play funky music’! Under his peacock ploomage, and serpentine musical heritage no-one would doubt George was anything but far-out. Further than Jupiter. Which leads me on to Mike Golf Delta by Smiley People, as a funk you to Spotify his belligerent approach to releasing a record is thus.
No putting his art into the corporate corpse, no build up, giveaway track with a tacky badge, no coloured vinyl no second division playlist, no jostling for praise. No ‘B’ sides. No, he’s giving it all away, well 100 of them at least, the rest of the songs will stay resolutely offline, not since Napoleon has anyone wanted to play a campaign so pigheadly. Mike Golf Delta will be given out first come, first served, in locations to be announced. When it’s gone it’s gone. I’m excited, it’s shows chutzpah. Smiley People is not a band it’s a conceit, it’s Mark Gibson, Virgo, 52, multi-instrumentalist, likes dressing up, likes theatre to his songs and lashings of humour too. Who else would call a tune ‘The Polyester Sexy Machine’, which is great and sounds like Bootsy Collins getting mugged by Haircut 100. Who else would describe his tale of domestic woe ‘Love Bites’ as ‘Victoria Wood meets Phil Spector’. You‘ll probably never even hear them. Your only chance before he becomes totally fed up with all things internet, is too hear the two singles on Smiley People’s SoundCloud page. The Dexys like ‘Let Me In’ and the beautiful bi-sexual musical melodrama of ‘Suburban Joe’. And his raiding of the dress-up box for his occasionally interesting take on live performance art that is the ubiquitous YouTube’s show, Smiley Showtime.
Mike Golf Delta veers from style to style but never falls between too many stools. As it’s versatility is it’s greatest strength. It’s soul, it’s Funk, it’s House, it’s City-Pop. It’s too many genres, it’s just enough. It’s thirteen tracks, it’s a comprehensive proletariat one-man band using the past, present and future. Remember when music in the 60‘s covered all bases, well this does too, it’s perfect for the genre-less audience of today. And his husband Gary makes an appearance as his drag alter ego Gina Strings. Variety is indeed the spice girl of life.
Help me I’m stung by misguided metaphors. It’s the best album you ll probably never hear. Damn you Mark Gibson. Damn you.
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