Who: The Metropolitan Police Band
What: Dull it Isn't!
Where: Wood Street Market, Walthamstow
Oh, just look at me. I hit the bell with this one. 25p for an entire album recorded by the Metropolitan Police! Readers expecting karaoke turns from the city's finest constables (with a cheeky wink for all the honest English gentlemen in their audience) will be sorely disappointed to learn that this is just the force's brass band, a regular crime fighting and trumpet tooting force whose presence is well-known at Arsenal football matches.
For all their history - the Metropolitan Police parpers go back the twenties, making them one of the longest serving acts on this blog - one can only assume that the release of this album was supposed to appeal to Arsenal fans who listened to them every season, since the market for this otherwise would have been extremely narrow. That said, Decca didn't appear to be giving much thought to the concept of a "market" for anything by the seventies, adopting a "throw mud at the wall and see what sticks" sales strategy, so perhaps they thought the novelty of a police brass band would have a wider audience.
The title "Dull it Isn't!" is a sorry case of a record label protesting too much, since it has to be said that most of the content of this album is actually tremendously predictable fare, more mundane even than the sleeve shots of the police force attending to troubled children, riding horses and playing with dogs. It seems to be performed well, but you would probably have more fun imagining the content of the grooves entitled "Traffic Patrol", "Passing of the Regiments" and "Trafalgar March" than you would actually listening to them. Therefore, to give you a flavour of the album I've offered up two mp3s for download here. The first is the Met's charming little cover of "Eye Level", which has a certain strident oomph that the original lacked, and the slightly swinging "Piping Hot", which you can march around to when you're next cooking a casserole for your dinner party guests.
To any Met Officers who may be reading, please remember that the purpose of this blog is to enrich people's knowledge about the world of obscure sounds. I would therefore ask you to ignore my obvious copyright infringement, for without breaking the law a little I wouldn't have introduced a new audience to your truncheon-tapping sounds. Please don't whack me around the head until I need stitches like you did to a friend of mine at an environmental protest this year - that wouldn't be in the spirit of the proceedings here at Left and to the Back at all. Besides which, your transport officers did let me off my rail fare this morning when the ticket barriers weren't working, and that cost considerably more than 25p. Think on.