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Elliot Speller-Gillott - You Can’t Eat Out Of The Singing Bowl album review

Extraordinary musical outing from the young Uncle actor

Elliot Speller-Gillott - You Can’t Eat Out Of The Singing Bowl album artwork

You might know Elliot Speller-Gillott as the gawky yet loveable nephew in the superior BBC3 sitcom Uncle, but the 17-year-old is also a gifted musician and aficionado of psych and prog. He’s released two albums just this year: Trousers Of The Mind and this extraordinary selection. From the atonal harmonies of catchyas- hell opener Nothing Going On up to quirky closer Back When I Was A Grave Robber, the allusions come thick and fast. Speller-Gillot approaches vocals with Peter Hammill’s emotion-overpitch style, and assumes a persona of a shabby vaudevillian with a large Gong collection; someone who’d bid for Zappa’s bowler hat at Sotheby’s. Plenty of that man in here: the tale of ingesting the wrong substance that is Soft Slices Of Cheese, the Montanaesque cod soul of Underpass, and Uncle Meat-referencing Part 3/Teminus Dumpsey End. Elsewhere, there’s Talking Heads and Warm Jets-era Eno (Fresh Water), and Steve Harley’s glam surrealism (Marvellously Mediocre). He’s a talented bassist too – cue sub-Primus funk (The First Rule/Looseshoe), all delivered with a love of wordplay and lysergic joy. Fans of nu-school psychers Knifeworld et al will eat this up.

Grant Moon is the News Editor for Prog and has been a contributor to the magazine since its launch in 2009. A music journalist for over 20 years, Grant writes regularly for titles including Classic Rock and Total Guitar, and his CV also includes stints as a radio producer/presenter and podcast host. His first book, 'Big Big Train - Between The Lines', is out now through Kingmaker Publishing.