Matt Berry's Albums That Changed My Life - Mustard comedy magazine
Matt Berry's Albums That Changed My Life

Matt Berry's
Albums That Changed My Life


Len Countmother: Sit The F*ck Down!

Len Countmother
Sit The F*ck Down!  1981

Len is a shit, but an incredible guitarist. If he wasn't such a great guitarist I think he would be dead. He's one of the rudest men alive. I know people in the music business who, over the years, have talked about killing him, or getting other people to kill him. The fact that no one ever has is, in my opinion, due to his incredible axe skills.

The record is extraordinary. It is a concept album; the idea is that Len got condemned prisoners, on the night before their execution, to sing (or in most cases speak) his lyrics over his guitar compositions, which are, in a word, blistering! There's a track called 'No More Sunsets' where the singer breaks down half way through – brilliant stuff.

He is a genius, I reckon, because he plays everything (rhythm, bass, and percussion) on his guitar – a regular one-man band!

This record did nothing in the States, which always surprised me as it's all about their people. He even dedicated the record to the prison staff that he paid to sneak him in with his tape recorder. Get it!

~ Matt Berry


Ken Puffin: Good Sex

Ken Puffin
Good Sex  1978

I first heard Ken's record at around age eight in my Grandad's greenhouse in Bedford. I realised even at such a young age that Ken knew the score when it came to sex. Not only did he know the score, he was clearly the players' choice. He sang about the best positions you should use, depending on your level of fitness; at eight years old, I lapped it up!

The first three songs deal with pulling specific girls. In Ken's case, this takes place in the swimming pool or at the car auction; he always strikes firmly and hits the target. Tracks 4 to 6 concentrates on which wines have the best effect, i.e. "Don't get her too lit on white if you're after that kind of night". The album then turns into a kind of audio Kama Sutra, where Ken takes you through the best ways to keep the sex intense and red-hot!

Whenever I watch cookery programmes, I get the urge to go straight into the kitchen and start experimenting. That's how I felt when I first heard this album. I can still remember sitting in the greenhouse with my headphones on, waiting for the damn record to finish so I could get off and try all this out. Imagine my disappointment when it emerged that Ken Puffin was, in fact, queer as a duster.

~ Matt Berry


Valerie Coinage: Hot Organ

Valerie Coinage
Hot Organ  1995

Valerie Coinage is a 49-year-old housewife from Milton Keynes, and also happens to be one of the best damn organists living in the UK.

People often say they know a girl who knows her way around an organ. I would never say such a thing unless I were talking about Valerie Coinage.

Her hot hands on that hot organ are a joy! She reminds me of that nurse in One Flew over the Cuckoo's Tree in that she looks like butter wouldn't melt when, in fact, she's nasty.

The cut entitled 'Pipe work' is a standout number for me, as I can always picture her rubbing those keys to that throbbing beat she creates using the pedals.

There's another song called 'Full Length' where she jams at the top end of the organ while tickling the bass of the beast with her free hand.

I saw Jimmy Smith at Ronnie Scott's just before he died. I went home and put Hot Organ on, and I can safely say she shits all over the dead jazzman.

~ Matt Berry


St Owens: Get F*ck'd

St Owens
Get F*ck'd  1981

Don't be put off by the frankly perplexing title, as this is a gospel album. St Owen's are a gospel choir from Peterborough led by Nigel McMurdy (portly guy at the front), who formed the choir with work colleagues from the Hillary Scout Recruitment agency.

This may sound pony, but it's actually brilliant 'cause these honky bastards can really croon and deliver some of the most authentic sounding black music you'll ever hear! There are a couple of stand-out tracks including 'Fish Women Blues' and 'Liquorish Lads'. These cuts really uplift any mood you're in.

I found this record in amongst an ex-girlfriend's father's record collection, and was about to give it back to him as a present (a trick that works on any father – they always say, "Haven't I got this?" Then they look, and see they haven't) but thought, 'Screw that, I'm gonna keep it, he can whistle!'

I try to tell people about this album but no one is ever interested, a bit like Jack Lemmon's character in the movie Glen Gary Glen Glitter. But DO take my word for it and CLOSE the deal.

~ Matt Berry


London: Quakermass

Quakermass  1979

I'm still not sure if the cover was a surrealist joke or a genuine mistake. My money is on the latter. Quakermass were a sort of 'supergroup' formed by members of Wishbone Ash, Ultravox, Wings and – interestingly – Lewis Collins from The Professional.

I realize that may sound like a total bloody disaster, but it's actually not half bad – in fact, it's all good. Side 1 is one long song lasting 23:43 which, I'm told, is the exact time each of the four band members were born? That's probably bullshit, but anyway, the music begins in a strange 7/3 time signature which throbs for 9:53 minutes before resolving into something that I can only describe as a quickstep.

The whole thing then weaves into a madness, with explosions and shops being robbed. Someone even gets their hand blown off before order is restored and the first side fades out completely.

The second side kicks off with a balls-to-the-floor six-minute rumba which takes us to the single 'Look out' which is, from what I can gather, a very slow love ballad about prison and blindness. The second-to-last track on side two is a very short folk foray using a bell whistle.

We eventually close the album with the lovely 'Bernice', which is most people's favourite track by bloody miles. Anyway, I've talked too much, just buy it.

~ Matt Berry


Klondike: Best of Klondike

Best of Klondike  1976

Most of you will read this and say (out loud), 'But who the shit are Klondike?' Well, if you did ask yourself that question I suggest you Google these arseholes tout de suite as they were one of the best rock trios we ever had.

'Gas Man' from the 1971 album Spin A Round was the first glimpse we got of this powerful four-piece. Two sets of brothers together went on to make 15 superb records. Amazingly all six members are still going strong (relatively) to this day.

Songs like 'I'm Coming, Corn Farmer' and 'Stick it There' take me back to a 1976 I remember, where everything was to play for, where no one took any shit or asked for their money back.

If you don't do yourself a favour and download an album by this formidable sextet, then you are a bigger prick than you look and I cannot help you any further.

Also remember, when hesitating over the purchase button, that this is a deluxe edition and costs the same as Nirvana's 1996 smash hit debut album Nevermind. I don't think I need to continue.

~ Matt Berry


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