“Velvet Donkey” by Ivor Cutler - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1975Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s

TJR says

Ivor’s second of three mid 70’s LP’s for Virgin Records, featuring 12 songs, 11 poems and 8 stories. Once again, the set features several contributions from Phyllis King, including one of the album’s major highlights, a bizarre, disconcerting 6 minute tale entitled “The Stranger”. If anyone knows why he came do, please, let me know. Cutler is also joined on the record by Henry Cow’s Fred Frith who plays viola on several tracks. These diversions are welcome and complimentary, but ultimately unnecessary. All we really need is Ivor’s burr, his fantastical prose, and his quaint harmonium. With these in place, we’ve got the world. Following the series that had begun on last years “Dandruff”, “Velvet Donkey” contains another two episodes from the nostalgically evocative semi-autobiographical works “Life in a Scotch Sitting Room”, a series of monologues based on Cutler’s Depression-era childhood that he would finally complete in 1978. Here we get the playfully bizarre “Episode 2”, with it’s amazing tale of how much fun could be had with 3 grains of sand, and the frankly disturbing “Episode 7”, where Ivor’s draconian Grandpa and Father sound like a right couple of unreasonable old weirdoids. But without whom etc etc…

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [00:09] 6.5.png Ivor Cutler - If Your Breasts (Ivor Cutler) Poetry
A2 [00:34] 6.6.png Ivor Cutler accompanied by Fred Frith - I Got No Common Sense (Ivor Cutler) Avant-Garde
A3 [00:27] 7.4.png Phyllis King - Useful Cat (Phyllis King) Poetry
A4 [01:30] 6.8.png Ivor Cutler - Oho My Eyes (Ivor Cutler) Avant-Garde
A5 [03:34] 9.6.png Ivor Cutler - The Dirty Dinner (Ivor Cutler) Storytelling
A6 [01:37] 6.2.png Ivor Cutler accompanied by Fred Frith - Yellow Fly (Ivor Cutler) Avant-Garde
A7 [00:25] 7.1.png Phyllis King - Mother’s Love (Phyllis King) Poetry
A8 [01:11] 6.2.png Ivor Cutler - The Meadows Go (Ivor Cutler) Avant-Garde
A9 [00:47] 8.8.png Ivor Cutler - Phonic Poem (Ivor Cutler) Poetry
A10 [03:40] 10.0.png Ivor Cutler - Life In A Scotch Sitting Room, Vol. 2, Ep. 2 (Ivor Cutler) Storytelling
A11 [00:49] 8.0.png Ivor Cutler - Birdswing (Ivor Cutler) Storytelling
A12 [01:54] 7.6.png Ivor Cutler accompanied by Fred Frith - Nobody Knows (Ivor Cutler) Avant-Garde
A13 [00:31] 6.6.png Phyllis King - Uneventful Day (Phyllis King) Poetry
A14 [01:53] 9.3.png Ivor Cutler - Little Black Buzzer (Ivor Cutler) Avant-Garde
A15 [00:42] 9.2.png Ivor Cutler - Bread And Butter (Ivor Cutler) Poetry
B1 [00:35] 6.1.png Ivor Cutler - A Nuance (Ivor Cutler) Storytelling
B2 [02:09] 6.4.png Ivor Cutler - Go And Sit Upon The Grass (Ivor Cutler) Avant-Garde
B3 [00:37] 6.7.png Ivor Cutler - The Even Keel (Ivor Cutler) Poetry
B4 [01:54] 5.9.png Ivor Cutler - Pearly Gleam (Ivor Cutler) Avant-Garde
B5 [00:22] 8.0.png Phyllis King - The Best Thing (Phyllis King) Poetry
B6 [03:34] 9.2.png Ivor Cutler - Life In A Scotch Sitting Room, Vol. 2, Ep. 7 (Ivor Cutler) Storytelling
B7 [00:49] 7.4.png Ivor Cutler - Once Upon A Time (Ivor Cutler) Storytelling
B8 [02:01] 6.6.png Ivor Cutler - There’s Got To Be Something (Ivor Cutler) Avant-Garde
B9 [01:10] 6.0.png Ivor Cutler - The Purposeful Culinary Implements (Ivor Cutler) Poetry
B10 [01:34] 6.4.png Ivor Cutler accompanied by Fred Frith - Gee, Amn’t I Lucky (Ivor Cutler) Avant-Garde
B11 [02:07] 7.0.png Ivor Cutler - The Curse (Ivor Cutler) Storytelling
B12 [00:54] 7.7.png Ivor Cutler - I Think Very Deeply (Ivor Cutler) Avant-Garde
B13 [00:23] 6.6.png Phyllis King - I, Slowly (Phyllis King) Poetry
B14 [02:33] 6.2.png Ivor Cutler accompanied by Fred Frith - Sleepy Old Snake (Ivor Cutler) Avant-Garde
B15 [00:32] 6.0.png Ivor Cutler - Titchy Digits (Ivor Cutler) Poetry
B16 [06:00] 9.8.png Phyllis King - The Stranger (Phyllis King) Storytelling

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