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Papernut Cambridge - Nutlets 1967-80

  by Benjamin Howarth

published: 12 / 8 / 2015

Papernut Cambridge - Nutlets 1967-80
Label: Gare du Nord Records
Format: CD


A companion piece to last year's excellent 'There's No Underground', Papernut Cambridge’s new album ‘Nutlets (1967-80)’ finds mainman Ian Button delving into his childhood record box

Ian Button, once of Thrashing Doves and then later Death In Vegas, introduced his Papernut Cambridge project with its very own theme song, telling the story of the imaginary band he had once seen play in a dream (supported by another dream-band, Elvis Breakdown). I like to imagine this, Button's third album as Papernut Cambridge, as a compilation of that band’s greatest hits. In fact, it is an album of covers of some of Button's childhood favourites – ranging along the obscurity scale from the forgotten to the never-known. Some of these songs may be familiar to loyal viewers of ‘TOTP2’ (that's ‘Top Of The Pops 2 ‘to non-British readers, a show compiling clips of forgotten chart hits from earlier decades alongside the odd before-they-were-famous cameo from a megastar), but for the rest of us, this is real from-the-vaults stuff. The crate diggers have, for the most part, ignored the hits of the seventies. Ian Button sets out here to make the case that they have been missing out. Button describes these songs as the accompanying footnotes and references to his two albums of original songs. As such, there is no attempt to reinvent the songs or draw out ironic reinterpretations – each is delivered entirely straight. If you didn't already know these were covers, you wouldn't think they were. Button's music is brewed with notes of psych-pop, Motown, glam pop, eighties indie and Britpop. It has too many flavours to sound much like any particular band – but fans of the Boo Radleys, Mull Historical Society, Lightning Seeds, ELO or Sparks will feel right at home with this. For the first time, this was recorded in the studio with a full band, rather than with different collaborators each e-mailing in their parts. But, in all honesty, I can't detect any significant shift in musical style from his earlier work to this. Button's real skill comes in how he densely packs in so many little musical details, while leaving the complete package feeling as light as a feather. While I'd still point someone new to Papernut Cambridge in the direction of last year's 'There's No Underground' first, this is no mere stop-gap. The care, attention and love for this music is evident. And, as you'd expect from a compilation of someone's favourite pop records, the soundtrack to the school-disco nobody ever actually went to, each of these ten tracks is infectiously catchy.

Track Listing:-
1 Broken Hearted Blues
2 I Believe in Love
3 What Ruthy Said
4 Jesamine
5 Sugar Me
6 I've Been a Bad Bad Boy
7 Jealous Mind
8 Love Grows (Where My Rosemar
9 White Horses
10 Rockers Delight

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