The Nine Ton Peanut Smugglers: Drop Some Leg!

Sometimes a day just does not go to plan with frustrations bringing their mischievous devilment to taunt and obstruct whilst other times everything is blissfully on course and one can bask in warm glories and self pleasing satisfaction. For those days and anything in between one needs a soundtrack to feed and ignite the inner sun and inspire the reaction required to fight or fully enjoy. This is where bands likeThe Nine Ton Peanut Smugglers come in. They heat up the emotions and stir up the heart with irresistible sounds and feel good energy that is impossible to ignore or avoid. So with a collection of songs to fulfil any need meet the soul reaching pleasure that is Drop Some Leg! It is a pulsating re-energising array of Jamaican-style bluebeat and rhythm’n’blues songs with a concentrated dash of ska and more that leaves one pumped up and swaggering like they just won the lottery.

Now we will make no claims of knowing much about the sounds that have inspired the music of The Nine Ton Peanut Smugglers but we know what we like and Drop Some Leg! definitely falls into that category. The band is Oxford based and consists of the ubiquitous guitarist, vocalist, and song writer Sir Bald Diddley (Hipbone Slim and the Kneetremblers, Louie and the Louies, Sir Bald Diddley And His Right Honourable Big Wigs to name just three of his expansive list of exploits), drummer Bash Brand (Milkshakes/Headcoats/Link Wray/Holly Golightly), plus trumpeter AJ (Intensified/Laurel Aitken/Dave Barker/Dennis Al Capone and Winston Francis), trombonist Napolean Trombonaparte, Kid Wig on piano, Johnny Loafer on tenor sax, and  the double bass of ‘Later’ Ron McRobbie (previously of Sam Brown’s band). Labelled Oxford’s Skatalites’!! the band feed from influences such as the Skatalites, Prince Buster, Laurel Aitken, Derrick Morgan, Fats Domino, Huey Piano Smith, Rosco Gordon, James Brown and Ike Turner, to create tunes that makes one just get involved, music to elate and inspire the emotions with a smile on the face and grin in the heart.

If you were a fan of the late seventies/early eighties ska boom Drop Some Leg! is an exhilarating feast of sounds though the music of The Nine Ton Peanut Smugglers has a wider and more expressive depth which will please everyone. From the opening brass charms of If The Coast Is Clear the album lights up the ear. Ska guitars nudge and poke  whilst the piano strolls boldly behind bringing an instant engagement. Sir Bald lays down his vocals with a fifties blues rock n roll gait whilst the brass take the emotions on a hazy saunter into warm vibrant climes.

The sultry temptation of following instrumental The Elusive Mr. Kaplan takes the hand next leading one through a beckoning tease into the excellent title track. Drop Some Leg opens with a glorious throaty bass from McRobbie which instantly recalls the wonderful deep moody equivalent sounds of The Beat. The song transports one into a welcoming and sweaty smoke filled dancehall, everyone blissfully swaying and matching bodies in a relaxed mass exultant dance. There is nothing complicated about the music but not many songs sweep one up into an inner peace and wanton giving of their hearts as here, a reflection of the genre in general .

The foot provoking persistence of instrumental Bare Our Souls comes next to continue an eclectic mix of sounds with its jazz/soul stomp to be equalled by the likes of the captivating Everybody Ska with its obvious but irresistible jaunt through the ear, the brilliant instrumental Hugh Mingus where the band simply own the heart with its soulful emotive passion and imaginative craft, and the rock n roll blues gem that is Shot Full Of Holes. As mentioned the album is openly varied with these four songs alone coming from different corners and inspirations.

Every track on the album is an outstanding treat but the side by side Baldhead and Pempelem create the deepest affair. The first is just one of those sing-a-long triumphs that has one engaged within a few notes, its cheeky amble though the ear picking up emotions like hitchhikers to drop them off at a party of pure elation. There is no way if you have a pulse you can resist joining in with the chorus and vocal returns. Pempelem quite simply takes thoughts and feelings downtown into another inviting house of hungry and insatiable warm sounds. The song swings with and seduces with clean and rousing musical passion.

    Drop Some Leg! is pure pleasure, an album to turn every day into one of joy and stirring animation. Place The Nine Ton Peanut Smugglers on your daily soundtrack right now and feel the warmth and energy wrap around you.

RingMaster 25/04/2012

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