The Ponces: Songs For Hope About Despair

R&B satirists stand up for Soho.

The Ponces: Songs For Hope About Despair album artwork.

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London’s Soho has undergone a lot of changes recently, with some of its more colourful establishments making way for bland coffee shops.

The good news is that The Ponces feel your pain and have come up with an album that laments the passing of the old Soho, and recreates the kind of satirical revue that the district was once famous for. And like those late-night revues, at times it’s a little too clever for its own good.

Sometimes the satire works (Be Careful What You Wish For) and sometimes it doesn’t (London Is Dead), particularly if you’re not au fait with Westminster. But the groovy jazz, mambo and rhythm and blues references give this bohemian rhapsody a certain charm. It’s essentially John Barry meets Peter Cook, with a dash of Jeffrey Bernard thrown in for good measure.