hair of the dog
album reviews
fan, jim finnigan’s review of 

A good year for music, I thought. My album of the year is Three Bonzos and A Piano’s Hair of the Dog, and the question is, can Roger Ruskin Spear, Rodney Slater and Sam Spoons restore the life and fire that was absent from the Neil Innes-helmed Bonzos reunion from 2007? And the answer is CERTAINMENT, thank you Mrs. Slater.
cd review in leicester bangs
Three Bonzos And A Piano – Hair Of The Dog 
Do you remember when MTV were promoting their unplugged series a decade or so ago. Funnily enough the Bonzos weren’t invited to take part (or perhaps they were, but in a moment of anarchic independence or artistic self-flagellation they told MTV to stick their corporate dollar where the sun doesn’t shine…), but Three Bonzos And A Piano makes it all okay. It doesn’t do exactly what it says on the tin. The trio of Bonzos, Roger Ruskin Spear, Rodney Slater and Sam Spoons, are not only accompanied by pianist David Gleason, but also by a host of guest musicians, contributing various stringed, wind and brass instruments. As for the set, Hair Of The Dog provides opportunity to get some new songs out to a fanbase who still support the band at every available opportunity. For those fans that have recently witnessed live shows with guest vocalists and have left slightly perturbed, they’ll surely take heart from this recording. The four main players all assume vocal duties and the songs all retain a gently surreal edge whilst, occasionally and predictably, bordering on the ridiculous. Add a boisterous reading of Viv Stanshall’s “Ginger Geezer” (which segues effortlessly into “Knees Up Mother Brown” - at double speed, of course) and you’ve a collection you’ll not only want to own for old times sake, but will return to for repeated spins.
Rob F.

by Jeff Penczak
A delightful souvenir of the latest incarnation of the Bonzo Dog Band, featuring Sam Spoons, Roger Ruskin Spear and Rodney Slater, with Dave “Piano” Glasson, who’s played with various Bonzos on and off for over 40 years. The quartet tackle the expected variety of styles, from vaudeville to rockabilly (‘Old Geezer Rock’ may be the new anthem for us 50+ Bonzoids), with spoken word segments, Pythonesque skits, and Spike Jones-styled lunacy tossed in for kicks. The lads (who are approaching 70) are obviously enjoying their ‘Senior Moments’ – a jollity farm of a tune which asks “Where’s my memory gone?”; ‘Bin It’ is a spoken-word piece about trying to remember which products are recycled on which days, and they fondly recall past glories on ‘Shirts 2010’. Slater also pays tribute to the late Viv Stanshall, with whom he formed the original band nearly 50 years ago, with a tender-but-not-mawkishly sentimental rendition of Viv’s ‘Ginger Geezer’.
For you collectors and completists, they even include the original 1979 Rough Trade single ‘Punktuation’ (“listen for the blips”), which Roger, Sam and Dave (no, not THAT Sam & Dave) originally recorded when they were going by the name Tatty Ollity. Glasson explains:
That was recorded at Olympic Studios in 1979 for A&R man Nicky Graham; we thought there might be some mileage in a comedy single, but eventually decided against it! We managed to interest Rough Trade in distribution and they took 400. I have only 4 singles remaining! The lyrics are by Dr John Gribbin (well known astrophysicist and popular science writer) and I wrote the music. The version on Hair Of The Dog is the very same track lifted off our Tatty Ollity 45 rpm vinyl - not a new version. The lineup is Dave Glasson- vocals, piano & organ, Roger Ruskin Spear - tenor sax and typewriter, Sam Spoons - drums, Dave Knight (RIP) shouts/ responses.
The energy levels have never been higher, the harmonies are impeccable, and the tongue-in-cheek ruminations on growing older, and wry observations on the “follicly-challenged”, the benefits of prunes, and the men in the white vans bring reality a little closer than one would care to imagine!
Some tracks might remind you of the halcyon days of Ian Dury & His Blockheads and Madness trapped inside The Firesign Theatre, but that old trad jazz aura still hovers in the air (let’s all Charleston to ‘SatNav Sally’, swoon to ‘The Sheik of Araby’, and drool over Sam’s spoons solo on ‘Out of The Box’) and, while some tracks suffer slightly from the lack of visual accompaniment, you can resolve this minor shortcoming by making sure you catch them when they come to your town. The latest gig schedule is available at their site.
As I place the finishing touches on this review, I note that today (January 31) is Johnny Rotten’s birthday, which reminds me of his famous quip, “Rock n’ roll’s supposed to be fun. You remember what fun is, don’t you?” Thank God we have these wide-eyed, sexy sexagenarians to remind us. (Jeff Penczak)
A Terrascopic interview with the three Bonzos is in the process of production
‘hair of the dog’ physical album now available - purchase via paypal or card