Thursday 10 July 2014

Suzi Chunk & Groovy Uncle - Barefoot In The Park/Wet Weekend

Single review by KevW

When garage veteran Glenn Prangnell began his Groovy Uncle project a few years ago, it was essentially a solo vehicle for his songs with backing from others on the Medway beat music scene. Becoming a permanent fixture and taking things to the next level wasn't really part of the plan. Those tunes were great though, so there was always the opportunity there if things went well or if the inclination took him. Hooking up with belting vocalist Suzi Chunk was the catalyst that was needed (they're wonderfully nicknamed "Unc 'n' Chunk") and now Groovy Uncle is more of a set band with a cracking singer to front the operation. In retro guitar music circles, the album and singles that Suzi Chunk & Groovy Uncle have released so far have earned them national radio play and some excitable reviews, so the recipe is working.

This latest offering sees them making a further step up, and you can't help but think that if they were some teens that NME were fawning over then they'd be riding on a wave of hype right now; they have everything in place to do so. 'Barefoot In The Park' is a rollicking garage/soul number that shakes, rattles and rolls, resplendent with brass flourishes, neat harmonies and an insistent beat that rumbles like prime '60s surf. The writing is inch-perfect and the arrangement matches it all the way. Bonus points should be awarded for the guitar too. Prangnell takes the lead for 'Wet Weekend', a track that, as its name suggests, is a little more pensive but also a little more psychedelic. The ghost of John Lennon brings a mid-period Beatles sound to the verses and the chorus again is nicely brightened by some faint harmonies. Perhaps things were never meant to become as permanent as this, perhaps things were never meant to be elevated to this level, but you can't deny that the two tracks on this single are the sound of a band flexing their muscles and showing all the pretenders how it should be done.

Suzi Chunk's website

Groovy Uncle's website

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