Wish I was made out of steel, with no legs just wheels

I’ve been given this album by Sweet Baboo by the fine gentlemen of Shape Records, based in Cardiff. I say “I’ve been given” in a This Just In sort of a way, but actually I was sent it two or three weeks ago and I’m afraid I have dragged my heels a little. In fact, with a little more awareness and a little less lethargy I could have written a post to coincide with the official release of the record.


Sweet Baboo

Actually you might be tempted to read into my sluggishness a luke-warm response to “I’m a Dancer / Songs about Sleeping” but fact is I’ve pretty much played it to death over these weeks. It’s a great little record.

Sweet Baboo is actually Stephen Black from North Wales, who’s played with Euros Childs, Richard James, Islets and Cate le Bon – all favourites of these pages – and co-produced the Son of Euros record that was released last year. Apparently there are a couple of other releases (self releases, rather) but this is his biggest record so far. I’ve not seen him play yet, although I now rather regret a couple of near misses in the last year or so (an Acoustica and this year’s Green Man)

He’s a quirky dresser and writer, chronically self-conscious, with an obsession with body parts and a sense of his own awkwardness, which all comes out in songs like “Y’r Lungs, “Three Thumbs” and “Wish I was Made Out of Steel”. I like a bit of vulnerability in a writer, mind, and there’s nothing maudlin or irritating about all this misery. Quite the reverse really, his gawkiness is actually quite charming and very listenable.

He strums alone, often, although sometimes with minimal support from a few trusty aides, and sings in a sometimes broken, sometimes stutteringly hesitant voice. Occasionally, however, he is joined belatedly by his band, always to good effect and with some sensitivity. A lovely package altogether.

Favourite tracks are either of the versions of I’m a Dancer and Baby Let Me Let You Sleep, but really there’s not a weak song on the record. You can buy one of 300 limited edition vinyl copies or download it from Shape, or eMusic.

I’m a Dancer

Wish I was Made of Steel

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Great Acts I Have Missed (pt3) – H Hawkline « Partly Porpoise
  2. Trackback: On mountain tops, in gales, I pray « Partly Porpoise

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