Angel Air 2019
Wizardry warping awry for veterans who take a field trip to a quidditch match.
Laughter has been a major part of this group’s life from the very beginning, but where their previous efforts served it in droplets and looked at fantasy worlds too briefly – trying to locate Peter Pan on "Searchin' For A Lemon Squeezer" – the collective’s third album runs for a full Homeric scope. Whether their joke’s gone too far with the record sounding like THE BONZO DOG BAND’s take on “Thick As A Brick” is anybody’s guess; only the listener will never feel the same about Harry Potter’s universe after such a hilarious-to-hysterical look at it.
Told – or played, or sung, whatever – in four epic parts which bear no title except for number, “A Bit Of Pottery” is an extravaganza that pokes fun at art-rock seriousness and threads reason through rhyme, without bothering with keeping to a particular style and letting bombastic solemnity get undermined by ever-shifting, if occasionally recurrent, tunes and time signatures. Yet while this may seem to lead the tentative story all over the place – from the jailhouse rock, or rather Chuck-Berry-haunted disco, of Azkaban to the Hogwarts court dance, and beyond – there’s actually a theatrical unity to the result .
There are also the familiar faces of Rita Skeeter, (good Golly!) Mrs. Molly and the well-eulogized Dobby, but singer Lynden Williams doesn’t portray J.K. Rowling’s characters, opting for the delivery of most marvelous, often suggestive lyrics. The band weave their magic with much flair, though, adding infectious riffs and plaintive/playful fiddle to Geoff Downes‘ multi-faceted keyboards and interspersing original drift with quotes from classic pop pieces. Upon hearing these songs, which see dentists vying for villainy with the Dementors, it’s easy to pity a boggart or fall for Moaning Myrtle – and it’s easy to giggle uncontrollably realizing how much of an invisible world should lie just outside Rawlinson End.
A good laugh, indeed.