23 February 2009
Second Hand Record Dip Part 27 - Lenny Henry - Mole in the Hole
Who: Lenny Henry
What: Mole in the Hole (b/w "The (Algernon Wants You To Say) Okay Song")
Label: Jet Records
Where: Music and Video Exchange, Camden High Street
It's a sad and sorry tale of "citation needed", I'm afraid, since I can't trace the original interview, but I would happily swear on my dead dog's grave that Lenny Henry has said before now that he would quite like to distance himself from this record. The only thing which gives me any pangs of doubt is the fact that if you want to distance yourself from what you consider to be an embarrassing novelty single, it's a little daft to draw attention to it in the first place, since nobody bought the damn thing. Hell, does The Fast Show's Mark Williams ever talk about his "I Wanna Be Together" flop novelty rave record? Of course he doesn't.
The A Side "Mole in the Hole" is neither here nor there, being a confusion of David Bellamy impersonations, rasta-mimicking "OK-AYYY"s, and fairground melodies - the connection between them all seems none too clear to me. It sounds like somebody decided to throw loads of different musical and comedy elements to the wall to see if any would stick. It's not anything to be particularly ashamed of, but if I were Lenny Henry I probably wouldn't bother to highlight it on my CV either.
The B Side "The (Algernon Wants You To Say) Okay Song" is more interesting, however, in that it's actually a reasonably good reggae-tinged pop song. There's nothing particularly comedic about it unless you count his Tiswas-inspired references to condensed milk sandwiches (and Lee "Scratch" Perry has certainly been more absurd than that without having any of his output labelled as "comedic"). In terms of career peaks and troughs, it beats a lot of Lenworth's supposedly alternative rivals and their attempts to break into the music scene, as a listen to this followed by Alexei Sayle's "Ullo John Gotta New Motor" will prove.
Lenny Henry released a single as Theophilus P Wildebeest as well, although I have precious little memory of it apart from the fact that his voice was surprisingly powerful on the recording. It's bound to turn up in a junkbucket somewhere near me soon, and if it does, I may very well upload that as well.
Sorry I'm updating this blog less regularly than usual, incidentally. I'm sure some people probably thought I'd "got a life" since the stereotypical image of bloggers is that we all sit around in our pyjamas just living from update to update, but in actual fact if I don't blog it's usually a sign that I have sod all spare time, and that my dayjob is taking over my life. Unpaid overtime, you are my very unwelcome foe. Of course, there's always the time off in lieu as per my contractual arrangements, but I'm probably never going to realise or see that at the present rate... Apologies for the unnecessary personal footnote, although hopefully it's educational for some people about to sign work contracts as well.
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