Lieutenant Pigeon is an English band that was a novelty spin-off of the experimental group, Stavely Makepeace, and has been active since 1972. The group has scored a number of hits in the UK, one of which, “Moldy Old Dough”, reached #1 about a year after its release. This album, Mouldy Old Dough (1998/2017), is a compilation album of the group’s music over the years. I think someone posted about the band on Twitter sometime recently, which is what got me interested in checking out the band. The group only has a couple of compilation albums on Apple Music, so I figured that I’d check out this one. I’m pretty stoked to check out this album, so with that said, I’m going to jump on into the music.
“Mouldy Old Dough” starts with an interesting, somewhat whimsical beat after a moment, which is soon joined by some a flute and then a parlor piano that bring a lightheartedness to the track. Oh wow, there are some really interesting effects with the piano that evoke a sort of experimental background in the band. The beat sounds like it’s pulled straight from “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” by Bob Dylan. There’s also some super interesting guttural vocals that don’t really have any lyrics, but add a lot of texture to the soundscape. Super sweet track, and I’m excited to hear more.
“Desperate Dan” once again evokes a sort of lighthearted whimsy with the bright parlor piano alongside that sort of marching style beat. Oh wow, the piano gets rolling around pretty nicely while the vocals add a lot of texture with some guttural noises. Holy smokes, the piano at the end of the track gets into a super groovy rollicking jam. Super sweet track.
“The Grandfather Clock” starts out with what sounds to be some sort of old-tyme piano that grabs my attention. Oh wow, the background vocal accentuations almost bring a bit of a doo-wop feel. The whistling/flute alongside the bright high notes from the piano seem to be marching the tune forward. Oh wow, there are some super interesting synths that come in near the end of the track. Super sweet tune.
Oh wow, “Disco Bells” starts out with a bit of disco feel in the drums and bass, and shortly after some really interesting piano comes into the soundscape that adds a sort of Caribbean sound that I’m really digging. Oh wow, I could actually hear some light strumming of an electric guitar in the mix for a moment, which got me listening even closer. I’m kind of reminded a lot of Ween’s song, “Ocean Man”, with this track. Wow, great track.
Holy smokes, “The Blue Danube” starts out with a super groovy beat that sort of reminds me of “Primitive” by The Groupies, while the bass notes from the bass guitar and the piano almost have a bit of a Little Feat kind of sound. Meanwhile, the parlor piano and the bright synths play a melody that I feel I’ve heard many times when I was younger that bring a lighthearted whimsical feeling to the tune. Wow, great track.
“Jumping Jack” starts out with a rising line of parlor piano, and the track quickly evolves into the sort of novelty parloresque song that you hear played at carnivals and county fairs. Super sweet track.
“Dirty Old Man” starts out with some super intriguing droning vocals alongside some light piano or guitar chords. Oh wow, the track gets grooving and the vocals get super guttural for certain stretches alongside some somewhat eerie instrumentation. Oh wow, the instrumentation and vocals resolve to some sweet harmonies at certain points in the tune. Great track.
Oh wow, “I’m a Window Cleaner” starts out with a really sweet beat that gets me listening closer and closer. I really dig the combination of trudging sort of sound from the bass that gradually walks the tune forward, while the parlor piano and the vocals evoke more of that whimsical feeling. Super sweet track.
“Scarecrow” starts out with a really sweet, and somewhat bass-drum heavy beat that gets me intrigued right away. Oh wow, the piano work in this track plays a sort of British folk melody that I’m really digging. Great tune.
Oh wow, “I’ll Sail My Ship Alone” starts out with a whimsical, upbeat Caribbean sound between the beat and the melody from the mixture of keyboards/synths/parlor piano. I’m kind of reminded again of Ween’s track, “Ocean Man”, with the overall oceanic sort of sound that I’m really digging. Super sweet track.
“Goodbye” gets grooving right away with a strong beat and accompanying bass notes from a piano. Oh wow, the whistle/flute introduces a sort of whimsical feeling, and suddenly the synth comes in to bring a modern approach to a novelty-sounding track. I really dig how the piano rollicks around really nicely in this track. Oh wow, the vocals come in at the very end of the track with some effects that make it sound like the band is singing through a fan of some sort. Super sweet track, and a great way to finish up the album.
In researching this band, I didn’t really understand what was said by their novelty sound, but now I totally understand and I’m glad that I gave this group a listen tonight. It was really interesting to hear the mixture of whimsical, carnival-esque instrumentation like in the parlor piano, set to a sturdy beat, and at times have different synth and keyboard effects playing to sort of incorporate the band’s experimental background. If you’re in the mood for a whimsical, largely instrumental, rock-inflected novelty album, then you might want to consider checking out this album. If you do decide to give this album a listen, then I sincerely do hope that you enjoy the listening experience at least as much as I did.