“Cop Yer Whack For This” by Billy Connolly - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1974Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s

TJR says

Recorded live at the Unicorn Leisure production “The Billy Connolly Show” in the Kings Theatre, Glasgow. He’s not yet a UK-wide star, but the 31-year-old is revered on his home turf at this stage, his observational routine especially striking a chord with working-class Scots. “The Big Yin” is in charge of the house straight from the off; in reply to a heckle of “Ya big eejit” his witty, off-the-cuff riposte brings the house down: “You should get an agent pal… why sit in the dark handling yourself?” His roots as a conventional folk artist are still in evidence at this time, the whole routine being based around the fact that he is here to play some songs, which may or not come to pass in amongst the patter. “Three Men From Carntyne” is the first of the songs, and is a laugh-and-a-half based on the old nursery rhyme “one man went to mow” reinvented here as a signing-on song (joining the parish = using the social security system): “Three men from Carntyne, and a bottle of wine, and five woodbine, and a big black greyhound dug called Boab, went to join the Parish”.

Lucky Uncle Freddie” is my favourite – I just love the craic about the incommunicado Glasgow family, and yer man is totally hilarious on the voices. Folk roots are always bubbling under the surface and this is clear again on “Talkin’ Blues” as Billy reinvents Woody Guthrie wi’ a’ the Glesga banter. Quite apart from the funnies, it’s clear he is a keen student of old Woody with intonations which are just so. Respect. He shows himself to be quite the showbiz all-rounder on “Cripple Creek”, as he lets rip with an impressive solo banjo routine. The album finishes poignantly with “Sergeant, Where’s Mine?”, a proper folk song composed by Billy and delivered superbly. The song is inspired by The Troubles in Northern Ireland; lying in bed in room 26, a wounded soldier questions the lie dream of army recruitment: “A’ yer talk ae computers and sunshine and skis, all I’m asking ye Sergeant, where’s mine?” He gets a well-deserved rousing reception for this – for once the blue, the green, the red and yellow, and the black and white of Glasgow are unified.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [03:50] 7.9.png Billy Connolly - Three Men From Carntyne [live ’74] (Traditional, John Watt) Folk
A2 [02:11] 5.6.png Billy Connolly - Help Me Make It Through The Night [live ’74] (Kris Kristofferson) Songwriter
A3 [03:46] 8.4.png Billy Connolly - Lucky Uncle Freddie [live ’74] (Billy Connolly) Comedy
A4 [03:42] 6.4.png Billy Connolly - Tam The Bam [live ’74] (Billy Connolly) Comedy
A5 [05:55] 6.2.png Billy Connolly - What’s In A Name?… Constantine! Tyrone! [live ’74] (Billy Connolly) Comedy
A6 [05:19] 6.5.png Billy Connolly - Talkin’ Blues [live ’74] (Billy Connolly) Folk
B1 [04:45] 6.2.png Billy Connolly - Late Call [live ’74] (Billy Connolly) Comedy
B2 [02:36] 5.3.png Billy Connolly - Funny Thing Religion… [live ’74] (Billy Connolly) Comedy
B3 [02:44] 5.0.png Billy Connolly - The Afternoon After The Morning After The Night Before [live ’74] (Billy Connolly) Poetry
B4 [02:24] 5.0.png Billy Connolly - Cripple Creek [live ’74] (Traditional, Billy Connolly) Folk
B5 [02:30] 4.3.png Billy Connolly - George, My Faithful Roadie [live ’74] (Billy Connolly) Comedy
B6 [03:07] 8.1.png Billy Connolly - Sergeant, Where’s Mine? [live ’74] (Billy Connolly) Folk
B7a [00:50] 4.0.png Billy Connolly - Scottish Highland Dress [live ’74] (Billy Connolly) Comedy
B7b [03:13] 6.0.png Billy Connolly - The Welly Boot Song [live ’74] (George McEwan) Folk
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