Here’s a bit of a whopper: An album originally released in five instalments over three CDs and witha playing time of more than 100 minutes. South Londoners The Mighty Handful are a delightfully obtuse bunch. Their ranks include lead vocalist/guitarist Matt Howes, who, in another life, is the music producer of Strictly Come Dancing and Gary Mackenzie, a former drummer with melodic heavy metallers Praying Mantis, and one fourth of a barbershop quartet (step forward bassist Tommy Halley). Delivered in easily digestible three-tofive- minute chunks, from the neo-prog of Not A Dry Glass In The House, Hypothetically Speaking and Rubicon to We Had the Rock/Lost Boys and its Meat Loaf-esque melodrama, the music is colourful and diverse, with a mild theatrical sheen. Its lyrical plot line is also rather weighty, running across issues that include friendship, nostalgia, loss, lust, alcoholism and “the dilemmas that come with great power”. The band have also nabbed a genuine celebrity – Mark Benton, the much loved English actor who appeared on Strictly… – to supply the album’s narration. This has been a long time coming, but its integrity does TMH great credit.
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