Looks like it’s just you, me and the baby? Sounds like the last line from a My Family script, doesn't it? But don’t flinch with fear: Supreme Vagabond Craftsman probably doesn’t care anyway.
Supreme Vagabond Craftsman is, to put him in context, Lutterworth’s favourite son who, when not in his day group Methodist Centre or in the producer’s chair for singles by the likes of The Long Blondes and Pink Grease, can be found in a world of sonic and lyrical madness coming up trumps with records like Just You Me and the Baby. A collection of 13 songs that roll out with the ease of a picnic blanket, albeit with the crumbs of past summers still in evidence, this album promises to take you with cagey ease into the wonderful and frightening world that is SVC. And, of course, you know it’s going to be fun. After all, his first album was called Fuck Everyone, I Am King.
With lyrics about libraries and the civil service, scientologist assassins and heavy drinking sessions that end on pool tables all wistfully sung with a madrigal-y Dukes of Stratosphere bent, SVC’s scatty paeans weave wonderfully over-reliant basslines and never knowingly undersold strings, whilst sprightly drums and friendly accordions help gel everything together to make what is at first a pop album of highly accessible songs and secondly a bizarre collection of folksy time signatures, odd sentiments and jester-in-the-court style quirkiness. Who couldn’t resist a song called ‘Check out my Rifle Range’, or other Wire-esque title gems such as standout song ‘Truck Driver Incident’ and top-ten-bound-in-another-universe ‘14 Reporters on my Land’ if you knew you could hum them and your mum wouldn’t worry about where you were going to at night? Unless you were 46 and hadn’t left home yet, that is.
So, is this XTC meets a pastoral Jethro Tull jamming with an acoustic Wire in a lunatic's dream and therefore, by rights, the vanguard of late noughties off-kilter pop? SVC is King, remember, so if you disagree remember the words of the great man himself: fuck everyone!
8Prole Art's Score