Monday, April 28, 2008

He Say Yes!

"We were wondering if you'd write the sleevenotes for our next single. We know you don't like us but you'll think of something to say..."
OK, here goes: of all the bands ever called after fictional citrus-fruit buyers, The Man From Delmonte are among the best! Easily.
They are also, incidentally, engagingly eccentric, humane, charming, and brave. Yes, brave! This group has summoned the iron courage to survive both the ludicrous clobber and coiffure of singer Mike West and being saddled with The Worst Name In The History Of Rock! But then, The Man From Delmonte (see!) seem not to worry about such mundane technicalities, preferring instead to soak up and fuel themselves on Pop's indefinable holy spirit. How many bands get that balance right?...
I first met TMFD last Spring in Valencia, Spain. They exuded a self-contained effervescence that separated them from the other, more intense Britbeat combos there gathered. Their sole aim, relentlessly pursued, seemed to be the launching of one another, fully clothed and at every opportunity, into the Med! To my perfectly sensible question - 'do we need another Monkees?' - I never got an answer. A gobful of seaweed, yes, but no answer!...TMFD, are about good times, and they start with themselves...
What's this record like? I, naturally, have no idea but I'll be very surprised if it features a guest timpani solo by Mark Knopfler, an Acid tinge to the mix or even the most fleeting of references to Quantum Physics. It will however, harbour a spunk and a funk, a verve and a nerve, a ring and a swing that will simultaneously confirm The Man From Delmonte's uniqueness and ensure they'll never be as big as Bon Jovi!
All of which makes the disc you're currently holding, in the street jive of their native Greater Manchester, the full (Del) Monte!

Danny Kelly, Jan '89 [original sleevenotes]

I first heard 'Australia Fair' as Track One, Side One of the Manchester North Of England cassette, and promptly rushed out to buy this E.P it's from. The song also worked brilliantly as the opener to a tape I did for my mate Carlos when he went off on a Big Trip since 1) he was indeed going to Australia and 2) he was born in Lancashire (though to his chagrin they changed the county borders soon afterwards, so now he has to say he's from Cheshire). Is this really nearly twenty years old? Lumme. Anyhow, these are very Spring day (and possibly tea-break and HobNob) kinds of songs, so enjoy.

The Man From Delmonte - 'Waiting For Ann' (1989)
The Man From Delmonte - 'Australia Fair' (1989)


  1. Personally, I'm a sucker for 'My Love Is Like A Gift You can't Return'.

    But I do think these are quite jolly as well.

  2. I'd forgotten all about that one. Nice.

    'Australia Fair' in particular is jolly but barbed isn't it? I like jolly but barbed.

  3. Worst Name In The History Of Rock? You should know better than to make absolute statements like that, Davy my man, because some smartarse like me is bound to make a comment like this:
    How about 'Fuck', who had their sensitive, yearning plea for the destruction of sexism, 'Panties Off', played on the Peel show?
    Or just about any of the deranged Korean boy/girl pop groups I get plagued with by my students every day, to whit, 'Big Bang', 'The Wondergirls', 'The Female Teenagers', or 'Rain'?
    And while we're at it, Worst Album Title competition? Who else but Chris Rea would call their debut album 'Tennis'? With a picture on the cover of, well, a tennis court?

  4. Serves me right: according to Wikipedia, 'Tennis' was his third album, following the 'masterpieces' Whatever Happened To Benny Santini? and Deltics Took him a while to get it right.
    Yes, I do have too much time on my hands.

  5. Not my 'absolute statement'! Danny Kelly's!

  6. How dumb do I feel? THIS dumb. Shoulda read the reference at the bottom.
    Still think the competition's open for worst name, though.

  7. pinching danny kellys guest list spot for almost all an ica rock week around 1986 helped me along the murderous path to becoming the dastardly criminal mastermind i am today. i had his plus one too.

  8. Cheers for that, Davy - excellent stuff. The Man From Del Monte are one of those bands I'd been aware of but never quite got round to listening to properly - until now. Gawd bless the blogosphere :)

  9. Cheers Kippers, glad you laks it man.


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