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Prescott - Thing Or Two album review

Second helping of roguish art prog from Stump/Scritti/Snorkel axis

Prescott - Thing Or Two album artwork

They might baulk at the idea of an avant supergroup, but the individual members of Prescott do have serious pedigree.

Leader and bassist Kev Hopper is best known for his stint with 80s oddballs Stump (prior to a number of projects, solo and otherwise); keyboardist Rhodri Marsden, once of sub-Britpop miscreants The Keatons, has now clocked up over 10 years with Scritti Politti; drummer Frank Byng has kept time with Snorkel and This Is Not This Heat; and latest recruit Keith Moliné is long‑standing guitarist with Pere Ubu. Thing Or Two expands on 2014 debut One Did (whose sleeve featured John Prescott, aptly, getting busy with a sewing machine) by adding extemporised guitar over playful grooves that vacillate between funky abstraction and fusionist jazz. Hopper’s bass pops and parps like a flatulent pup, while Marsden conjures an array of riffs and samples that sound like the work of a man with a jerky attention span. The mischievous Rubberised is an undoubted highlight, a convulsive burst of eccentricity with treated vocals – from Iris Garrelfs, once dubbed “the Diamanda Galás of Glitch” by BBC3 – that feels like a transmission from a new galaxy. Fans of Knifeworld, Cardiacs or even Pierre Moerlen’s Gong are likely to approve.

Rob Hughes
Rob Hughes

Freelance writer for Classic Rock since 2008, and sister title Prog since its inception in 2009. Regular contributor to Uncut magazine for over 20 years. Other clients include Word magazine, Record Collector, The Guardian, Sunday Times, The Telegraph and When Saturday Comes. Alongside Marc Riley, co-presenter of long-running A-Z Of David Bowie podcast. Also appears twice a week on Riley’s BBC6 radio show, rifling through old copies of the NME and Melody Maker in the Parallel Universe slot. Designed Aston Villa’s kit during a previous life as a sportswear designer. Geezer Butler told him he loved the all-black away strip.