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The Bing Turkby Ensemble - Album Review: Atlantean Night Tourists

15 Jan 2017 // A review by jdiddynz

After first hearing of Bing Turkby years ago back in good old NZ, I already knew him to be a talented multi-instrumentalist and with such an eccentric album title I was very interested to hear what this record had to offer.  

Released on 1st December 2016, Atlantean Night Tourists features Bing Turkby (guitar, vocals, trombone, sax, tenor banjo, accordion), Tyrone T. Blowhard (sax), Slapskins McBOOOm (drums), and Ajax MacDeth (bass and backing vocals). The album was recorded at The Stomach and T-Tone Studio B For B in Palmerston North. Engineering duties were undertaken by Nigel Mauchline and Bing Turkby with mastering also done by Nigel Mauchline.

The whole record has a blues rock vibe and in places delves into country, early 90s psychedelic rock, and the horn sections lend an occasional ska/dub feel. The overall vibe reminds me of softer version of early 90's American comedy rock band Green Jelly with a sprinkling of Tenacious D.

There is some interesting lyrical subject matter, a unique humour, and some catchy vocal hooks. In places there is a slightly DIY feel but this, coupled with Bing's Kiwi accent, adds to the charm of the record. 

Some standout moments are:

- The Banjo solo in Boogaloo.
- The Right Channels' blazing opening guitar solo which also has moments reminiscent of the band Helmet.
- The 9 to 42 solo has mega swagger. 
- Vanquish the Necromancer has an acoustic Led Zeppelin-esque chord progression in the opening bars and some flamboyant vocals throughout. 

Difficult to pigeonhole, this record should be taken for what it is. I hope Mr Turkby continues to make more wacky records. From the lyrics in 9 to 42 I quote "I'll just play my guitar, I've been alright so far". 

About The Bing Turkby Ensemble

Bing Turkby was born in 1973 in Turakina. Bing started out recording at home by himself, but has since been joined by the soaring Tyrone T. Blowhard on sax, the effervescent Slapskins McBOOOm on drums, and the mighty MacDeth on bass.

"Bing Turkby represents Turakina by putting out way too many albums in his "hayseed surrealist style"
- NZ Musician magazine.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for The Bing Turkby Ensemble

Releases

Atlantean Night Tourists
Year: 2016
Type: Album
Are You Ensembled?
Year: 2007
Type: Album
Turakina Tales
Year: 2003
Type: Album
Live-Ish!
Year: 2002
Type: Album
The Barrel Is Empty
Year: 2001
Type: Album
Sick Chutney
Year: 2000
Type: Album
Summer Party Album
Year: 1999
Type: Album
... Meets Moslem Sa
Year: 1998
Type: Album
... Grabs You By The Plimentos
Year: 1997
Type: Album

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