The Two Man Gentlemen Band "Two At A Time"
Any band which starts an album with a song about a girlfriend tasting like pork chops rockets to the top of my chart.
But it’s not this alone which renders this one of my favourite releases this year. Recorded, designed and packaged without the use of any digital technology, the album was recorded live to monophonic analogue tape using period 1940s/50s microphones. Despite its nostalgic heritage, most of the music on the disc is original, written by singer Andy Bean.
The band was formed when banjo player Andy Bean and string bassist Fuller Condon began busking together in New York City's Central Park full-time. They gained a reputation for wild shows, complete with free kazoos, which is probably why this album was made from the charity of “three hundred and sixty-one loyal Two Man Gentlemen Band” enthusiasts. Fans of the Squirrel Nut Zippers will love their vaudevillian stylings and trad jazzings but fans of smart, sassy writing will appreciate their (mainly cuisine-based) lyrics. It’s bonkers, retro nonsense but what fun.