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Sounds Like Bromley

by Billy Jenkins

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about

Paul Colbert, writing in the sleevenote to the original release of Sounds Like Bromley claimed “…the Voice of God Collective are making a sound rarely heard – their own.” Which is why, listening to the album a millennium and several decades later, we can say that the band still sound fresh and modern.

That alone would be a good reason to reissue this, the first BJ and the Voice of God Collective album, and the first of Mr Jenkins’ series of pungent observations of his South East London manor. Other good reasons include the quality of the musicianship (Billy has consistently brought great young musicians together for his recordings) and the talents of the Trimmer/Jenkins writing team, already almost a decade old by the early 80s.

It is also instructive to reassess 'Sounds...' in the light of the current interest in so called ‘punk jazz’. You could make the argument that this was the first attempt to make jazz with punk attitude (the original press release points out the ‘deliberate insertion of an instrument performed by a musician unfamiliar with it’s technique…). Billy’s extraordinary guitar playing, all sharp elbows, still sounds revolutionary today.

What is extraordinary is that this ground-breaking album has languished in the analogue version of a Bromley lock up for 25 years. It’s not before time that Sounds gets a digital release, re-mastered from the virgin vinyl, and that a new generation get the chance to hear one of the essential British records – of any genre.

'A vastly underrated work that manages to combine post-Ellington composition, concrete effects, pop and a world upside down version of English pastoral'.
Brian Morton / The Wire

'Delightfully witty, it contains some of the most tongue-in-cheek instrumentals you have ever heard.'
Cedric Porter / South London Press

'Brave and serious to the point of madness - a curious, at times stunning, slab of jazz and humour'.
Gill Haydon / Bromley Advertiser

credits

released June 18, 2021

Billy Jenkins - Guitar, Piano
Simon Etchell - trumpet
Neill MacColl - Guitar
Dawson - percussion
Ian Trimmer - tenor saxophone
Dave Jago - trombone
Tim Matthewman - bass
Roy Dodds - drums

Executive Producer - John Steel
Originally released as a 12" album in 1982 (Plymouth Sounds LBB1), the album has been especially remastered by Andy Le Vien at RMS Studios for digital download direct from virgin vinyl.

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about

Billy Jenkins London, UK

As a teenager BJ recorded for legendary Clive Davis with artrock band Burlesque (72-77); with 'alternative musical comedy' duo Trimmer & Jenkins (79-82) before founding (81) the Voice of God Collective. He has recorded 40+ albums incl Motorway At Night, Entertainment USA and recordings about SE London Sounds Like Bromley, Greenwich, Still Sounds Like Bromley and Suburbia. ... more

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