2007   JULY 28   #209

P Gill and his harmonica

1. Laughing Gnome (1:30)
2. Silver Screen (2:12)
3. It Started With A Kiss (4:00)

Enjoy the accidental genius of one P Gill. I was given a load of cassettes which were part of a Search-for-a Star type event from the early 1980s, and this was one of the few examples which I thought was worth holding onto. The others were everything from semi-pro pop and cabaret bands offering up their regular demo tapes, to teenage girls singing along to their favourite pop stars. But P Gill took three songs and made them his own. It sounds as though he is reading the lyrics out but has never heard the tunes of each song. Whether he's being serious or is having a joke I'm not sure, but he is certainly sincere, and there is sooo much to enjoy here.

First up is a unique reading David Bowie's novelty hit Laughing Gnome where Mr Gill opted to be both Bowie and the gnome. He has little sense of rhythm or timing and I love the way he does the first gnome part in slightly demented voice, more akin to a serial killer, but then forgets about it and does all the gnome parts in a variety of other voices. The second song appears to be a bizarre cover of the little-known Bay City Rollers track Marlena, here re-dubbed Silver Screen. PG has changed the lyrics and seems content to repeat the chorus over-and-over again until he sounds like he's having a seizure at the end. But watch out for the random, tuneless harmonica interjectionswhich have nothing to do with the rest of the song. Brilliant!

He rounds of his set with a unique rendering of Hot Chocolate's It Started With A Kiss which he sings in several keys, most of which are too high for him. His endless, pitiful whines of 'You don't remember me do you?' ensure that we certainly will remember him for many years to come.

My apologies for the bad quality, and the low volume, but it was a bad home recording to start with and the tape has suffered a little with age, but crank up the volume and enjoy.

- Contributed by: David Noades

Images: Record

Media: Cassette tape
Date: 1982