Mind the Bullocks,
Ere's The Wurzels
Records ZEN 00262
Date: 18th November 2002
they're not stuck in a 1970s time-warp, The Wurzels
released an album of covers from 1990s and 2000s artists,
following the success of their Oasis
cover Don't Look Back In Anger (included on this
album) in the singles charts. As can be seen, the Farmyard
Four have wide tastes in music, and the album includes
covers of songs by artists as diverse as Catatonia,
Shaggy, Babybird, Blur, Gina
G, Robbie Williams, Chumbawamba and
Travis. For good measure, the album also includes
the 2001 Christmas single Come On Santa.
band line-up is not credited on the CD sleeve, but one
would presume that it is Tommy Banner
piano, vocals), Pete
Budd (banjo, guitar, lead vocals), John
Morgan (drums) and probably Jai Howe
Guitars: Russ Crook
'Rawk' guitar on Rock DJ and Why Does It
Always Rain On Me by Chris Goulstone (courtesy
of Chapel Of Rock)
Rockabilly guitar on Country House and Tubthumping
by Alan Wilson
Steel guitar on It Wasn't Me: Reg Watson
Backing vocals on Oo Ar Just A Little Bit,
Why Does It Always Rain On Me, Rock DJ
and Tubthumping: Cally P.
Guest vocals on It Wasn't Me, Come On Santa
and Rock DJ by Bob Noxious (courtesy of Extreme
Backing vocals on Dead From The Waist Down
and Rock DJ: Jack, Ali and Hannah Greenwood
All farm animals courtesy of Charlton Farm
Recorded at Charlton Farm Studios
Produced, Arranged and Mixed by George D. Allen and
Executive Producer: Sil Willcox.
albums has been reviewed by Wurzologist Paul Gunninghambelow.
Mind the Bullocks front cover
Mind the Bullocks back cover
Mind the Bullocks CD disc
Mind the Bullocks front and back of the sleeve
Mind the Bullocks inside of the sleeve
Wurzologist Paul Gunningham previews the new Wurzels'
album in detail
Somewhat ironically packaged in a spoof of the Sex Pistols'
legendary 1977 album cover (since the dawn of punk was to
hasten the Wurzels' fall from greatness), and squarely aimed
at the new generation of Wurzels' fans, this album is a departure
from their normal material based on the songs of Adge Cutler
and their own 1970s hits. Here, the tracks are all covers
of hits by 1990s and 2000s artists and should be familiar
in the original versions to anyone under the age of thirty.
It has to be said that some of the covers are more successful
than others, but overall this is an album that should go down
especially well during the forthcoming festive season. Here's
an indication of what to expect:
· Ooh-Aah Just A Little Bit - the opening track
is an ideal Wurzel vehicle with its "Ooh-Arr!" choruses,
and is performed in the same bouncy style as Gina G's chart-topping
original, with no change to the lyrics apart from Pete Budd's
spoken interjections. And Adge Cutler makes a guest appearance
right at the end! A possible next single?
· You're Gorgeous - Babybird's 1996 smash gets
a somewhat different treatment from the lads, with Tommy Banner's
accordion more prominent in the backing, and Pete's vocals
seem to be aimed at his horse!
· Dead From The Waist Down - a surprise inclusion.
Pete sings it straight (yes, really!) and the Wurzels' version
is not much different in arrangement from the Catatonia original,
except of course Pete doesn't sound a lot like Cerys Matthews!
But the "make hay not war" refrain seems ideal for
our lads - presumably the reason for its inclusion. A childrens'
chorus coming in towards the end makes this a good choice
for a Christmas offering.
· Country House - Blur's big laid-back 1995
hit gets "proper Wurzelized" in this version, which
combines a reggae-like verse with a rip-roaring fast-paced
chorus, all done in Wurzels' style with prominent Wurzelphone
and banjo accompanying Pete's vocals - not to mention the
animal sound effects!
· Don't Look Back In Anger - already familiar
from the September "Oo-Ar-Sis" single release, this
is another Wurzelization, this time of Noel Gallagher's chart-topping
song. Fast-paced with typical Wurzels accompaniment and vocal
asides, even though the original lyrics are sung as written.
· Why Does It Always Rain On Me - a rocky version
with lots of guitar in the mix, this is sung by Pete in his
inimitable style and is very effective, although the overall
effect is not very typically Wurzelish apart from the vocals.
· Tubthumping - at last a song on this album
mentioning cider! Chumbawamba's 1997 Top 3 anthem is given
a Wurzels treatment, with Tommy sharing lead vocals with Pete.
Once again, the words are sung straight, apart from a bit
of comedy at the start and the end. Rock-based mix, paced
similarly to the original.
· Come On Santa - last year's Christmas single
should already be familiar to Wurzels' fans. The only Wurzels
original on the album - bouncy pace with a catchy chorus and
· Rock DJ - the Robbie Williams hit gets well
and truly Wurzelized! Banjo prominent in the accompaniment,
and Pete sings the original lyrics again, albeit with a few
original interjections as you would expect. Plenty of screaming
rock guitar too.
· It Wasn't Me - a bit of an oddity, this 'un.
At well over five minutes, it's by far the longest track,
but I'm not sure whether this might be a touch too long. It
features an acoustic guitar-based backing, reminiscent of
Adge's Twice Daily, but with a bit of steel guitar
and banjo. Shaggy's song is given the Wurzels treatment again,
featuring plenty of Tommy and Pete's banter.
While this album should go a long way towards spreading the
Wurzels word amongst the younger generation, some of their
older fans may be puzzled by some of the songs included -
the problem with most covers of this nature is that unless
you've heard the originals, you don't get the full impact.
But it's nice to hear an album with some different material
on, even though little of it is original. Some long-term fans
may question whether the lads have "sold out", possibly
sacrificing longevity for short-term gain - but then, why
not? At their age, they can't afford to hang about! Amusing
though these covers are now, it's questionable whether they
will be remembered in thirty or so years' time, as Adge Cutler's
and the Wurzels' earlier hits are today. It would have been
nice to hear some parody words, rather than a relatively straight
treatment of the lyrics - more mentions of scrumpy, dung and
tractors would have been welcome! That aside, it's great to
see the Wurzels having some well-earned success, and I trust
they won't forget their roots and will keep their feet firmly
up to their ankles in dung! And no Wurzels' fan should be
without this album - go out and buy a copy!