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Groovy Uncle Play Something We Know! [album]

Groovy Uncle: Play Something We Know! “A new album with plenty to like
  about it — Kent-based Groovy Uncle
  has put together a creditable
  assortment of songs for the retro-
  styled album Play Something We
  Know!
. And it’s getting noticed
...”

TREMENDOUS SOUNDS ARE echoing around ancient Rochester, as Groovy Uncle gets out there to introduce songs from his recently-released, self-penned twelve-track album, Play Something We Know!

Medway musician Glenn Pragnell is Groovy Uncle, who was part of local band Goodchilde until they broke up in the late 1990s, when he set out on his solo career. Glenn has put a lot of time and effort into making sure his music is as good as it gets: "This album has been a long time in the making really…

“Groovy Uncle’s
Play Something
We Know!
sparkles
with
a Sixties ambience
that is
classically timeless”

— Maggie Woods
"Some of the songs are a few years old but have never been recorded. It's very pleasing to finally see them out in the world." And he adds proudly: "Everyone involved has been really keen and has shown unending enthusiasm for the project. We're all happy with the result."

That comes as no surprise, as the album is worth waiting for. Digital technology is now such that home recordings are no longer just for amateurs. Having perfected his art, Glenn got in touch with State Records in Sandgate, Kent, where founders Marty Ratcliffe and Mole — two of the band members from Garage outfit The Higher State — pride themselves in "making records that sound like records used to".

It is a philosophy that also appeals to Glenn. Luckily the boys liked the Groovy Uncle demos and were happy to agree to produce a single vinyl release, Monkey Trousers. And more was to follow as Glenn's creative juices went into overdrive.

His most obvious inspiration is The Beatles, but he also cites The Kinks "and a lot of those melodic, wordy Sixties bands." He laughs. "I like anyone who can come up with a good melody. Stuff that stays in your head. That's what I aspire to. I'm influenced by a lot of stuff, really — right across the board."

Play Something We Know! has a number of great tracks. Count On Me is lovely, lively and has raw, fun-sounding vocals. We here at MotorBar marked it as a favourite and a good start to the album. Vanity, Snake Hips And Hair has a quirky title and has some interesting melodies and Danger Zone has a very pretty tune; very retro.

The title track Play Something We Know! is wonderfully dramatic. A great treatment, but don't forget to listen to the words. Awesome stuff! We were also really taken by the fun-infused Can't Get Arrested. Great lyrics and great vocals highlight the album and Glenn really gets the swing of things with Wasn't What I Asked For and High Maintenance Girl with its terrific, spooky treatment was starred as compulsive listening.

The album just gets better. Flower children everywhere will identify with Got Any Mantras, which has that fine early Seventies rock feel with clever guitar work. Then slip back to the peaceful, lazy days of the late Sixties with No Stone Unturned and on again to the essence of the sensuous Seventies with Old Peculiar and the pretty pop-folk melody of It's A Shame. Great nostalgia here.

"Nobody listens to you any more…" sings Glenn but we found it difficult to stop listening to this album packed with elements of Sixties/Seventies Pop, rock, country, folk and stylish blues, it would seem that Glenn has an eclectic taste in music. Groovy Uncle's Play Something We Know! sparkles with a Sixties ambience that is classically timeless with a broad appeal.

Glenn is delighted that album sales have been really good so far and he is benefiting from "a fair amount of radio play". He has already received positive feedback from people all over the world who have praised his work. Although only a limited edition of 500 vinyl copies have been pressed, the album will be downloadable from iTunes from 1 April 2011 (no joke!), so you won't miss out if you haven't got a record deck.

When asked about future work, Glenn responds positively and cites sixty demos of unreleased material. "I've got enough songs for another album, which I hope State Records will be interested in releasing in the future."

"Whatever happens," he says, "I plan to continue recording throughout the coming months. I have even got a female singer lined up to take the lead vocal on a few songs. I don't want the next batch of recordings to be more of the same. I'd like to try a few different things."

And how about live appearances? "I'm doing an acoustic set at The Barge, Gillingham, with Ben Jones on guitar and Suzi Chunk on vocals on 16 April (2011). We'll be playing some alternate versions of Groovy Uncle album tracks as well as a few unreleased numbers. We've also got a gig at The Drop (below The Three Crowns), Stoke Newington on 4 June (2011)."

Glenn explains: "We don't play live very often but I think we should get out and promote the album." Go for it, Glenn!

Groovy Uncle makes his debut limited edition twelve-track LP with Play Something We Know! — out on the State Records label on 14 March 2011. Catalogue No THSLP-001 | Format: Vinyl LP | Available to Buy at groovyuncle.co.uk and available as a download from 1 April (2011) from iTunes, Amazon.

Tracklisting (All songs written by Glenn Pragnell): 1 Count On Me | 2 Vanity, Snake Hips And Hair | 3 Danger Zone | 4 Play Something We Know! | 5 Can't Get Arrested | 6 It Wasn't What I Asked For | 7 Some Of My Best Friends | 8 High Maintenance Girl | 9 Got Any Mantras? | 10 No Stone Unturned | 11 Old Peculiar | 12 It's A Shame.

"Groovy Uncle's Play Something We Know! sparkles with a Sixties ambience that is classically timeless with a broad appeal" — Maggie Woods, MotorBar