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The Electropathics | Batteries not Included

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Batteries not Included

by The Electropathics

The classic album from one of the most popular English Ceilidh bands of the 1980s/90s. A lively and quirky mix of traditional and modern folk songs and tunes, Sacred Harp hymns and 1930s variety.
Genre: Folk: British Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Helter Skelter
4:04 $0.99
2. Very Shy
2:57 $0.99
3. Lost at Sea
2:51 $0.99
4. Russia
3:17 $0.99
5. Stonecracker John
3:56 $0.99
6. Rochdale Nutters
4:44 $0.99
7. Never Swat a Fly
3:10 $0.99
8. Jam up the Nuts/Jump at the Sun
3:02 $0.99
9. Whitsun Dance/The Bloody Fields of Flanders
5:17 $0.99
10. The Deviation/Gertrude's Villa
4:42 $0.99
11. Northfield
1:57 $0.99
12. Gadaffi's Gallop/The Old Bazaar in Cairo
3:54 $0.99
13. Bonus track: Harry Rag
2:54 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The Electropathics were one of the most popular bands to come out of the English ceilidh movement of the 1980s. They were among the first folk bands to introduce non-folk instruments and styles to reinvigorate traditional English dance music. Equally at home playing for dances or on the concert stage, they were in demand for events throughout the country, and performed at most of the leading ceilidh clubs and folk festivals. "Batteries not Included" (the title came after they shortened the band name from "The Electropathic Battery Band"), released in 1987, was their only album, and reflects their lively dance style as well as the eclectic musical influences of the band members. Subsequently the band went through several changes of personnel, but retained its distinctive style and remained highly popular until finally disbanding in 1994.

The album's sleeve notes said:

Keith’s "Helter Skelter" looks at some of the strains of modern society, while "Lost at Sea" by Clive Gregson explores a similar topic in an entirely different way. But a steady job and a simple life are not always a satisfying alternative, and "Stonecracker John" – one of Martin Graebe’s less well known songs (learned from Charlie Yarwood), is about drudgery…there have been many attempts to depict the destruction of a generation in the First World War - Austin John Marshall’s "Whitsun Dance", to a traditional tune, is one of the simplest yet most powerful. We wanted a tune to continue the mood and "The Bloody Fields of Flanders" seemed appropriate.

On a lighter note, "Very Shy" by Leslie Holmes and Leslie Sarony was learned from an Arthur Askey 78, while for the Buddhists there is "Never Swat a Fly" from a 1931 recording of Harry Hudson’s Blue Jays… "The Old Bazaar in Cairo" is an old favourite written by Charlie Chester, Clinton Ford and Ken Morris. We introduce it with the traditional Derbyshire snake-charming tune we call "Gadaffi’s Gallop".

The Devil does not have all the best tunes – "Northfield" and "Russia" are typical examples of a distinctive style of singing from the southern United States taken from the Sacred Harp, a collection of hymns first published in 1844 and still in print.

We greatly enjoy playing for dances, and three of our favourite tune sets are included. Our version of the "Rochdale Nutters" starts in Lancashire and moves rapidly eastwards, finishing somewhere near Chicago…"Jump at the Sun" is a characteristically quirky tune from John Kirkpatrick. We needed something to go with it, so Keith wrote "Jam up the Nuts" … "The Deviation" and "Gertrude’s Villa" are by John and Jackie respectively. But we’re not letting on who Gertrude is and we are keeping very quiet about the deviation.

We include a bonus track, a cover of the Kinks' "Harry Rag" interspersed with a traditional tune called "Go and 'List for a Sailor", which was originally recorded for the BBC's Children in Need Appeal.

Pierce Butler: drums, percussion, harmony vocals
John Gregson: guitar, lead and harmony vocals
Keith Hancock: melodeons, hammered dulcimer, lead and harmony vocals
Howard Jones: hammered dulcimer, melodeon, anglo concertina, guitar, lead and harmony vocals
John Lewis: tenor banjo, mandolin, clarinet, tenor saxophone, harmony vocals
Alan Rawlinson: trumpet, cornet, flute, tenor trombone, Eb sousaphone, lead and harmony vocals
Jackie Rawlinson: fiddle, harmony vocals

Some reviews:

"One of the most refreshingly different albums I've heard in a long time ... it's certainly infectious music" MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS

"With the Electropathics you have, in a sense, heard it all before, but never in one place: dance sets with brass band/trad jazz influences, Sacred Harp hymns, songs from the Golden Age of Variety, danceable vignettes of a country becoming even cheaper and nastier, all of it deftly arranged to suit the required mood ... an excellent, versatile band." FOLK ROOTS

"The Electropathics breeze in with their global sounds and avant-garde folk ...a unique aggregation that mere words cannot describe ... these lads crackle with more energy than the National Grid" MANCHESTER CITY LIFE

"The Electropathics are a serious band who don't take themselves too seriously. 'Batteries not Included' is a predominately fun album, but with a message ... it's tremendous stuff ... a band to be reckoned with." TAPLAS



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