GRIFTER KID AND THE MIDNIGHT RAIDERS-THE RECEIPTS OF TIME.

Grifter Kid and The Midnight Raiders-The Receipts Of Time.

Label: Grifter Kid and The Midnight Raiders.

Nowadays, it seems, many bands and musicians have identity crises. Maybe that always was always the case, and third rate bar bands managed by Marge Simpson soundalikes who look as if they should be playing Duelling Banjos for the duration of their sets, always believed they were about to become the next Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath? Alas, that is never going to happen to these deluded fools or their low rent entourage. However, they’re not alone as there are many other musicians want to be something or someone else. 

There’s plenty of musicians whose dream was to make a living  as a pro soccer player, and would gladly swap their gold and platinum dics for a game with their favourite teams. Whisper it, there’s even some musicians who dream of becoming professional golfers and sinking a three footer on the seventy-second hole of The Open Championship to lift the Claret Jug. 

Then there’s the musicians who dream of becoming actors, while there’s actors who dream of becoming musicians. That was the case with Suffolk-born Karl Theobald who has featured on television in Green Wing, Plebs and Skins, Green Wing as well as  the new Danny Boyle new film Yesterday. However, Karl Theobald also founded and is the frontman with Grifter Kid and The Midnight Raiders who recently self-released their fourth album The Receipts Of Time.

Grifter Kid and The Midnight Raiders released their debut album Please Girl, five years ago in June 2014. It’s best described as an album that veers between lounge and swing and jazz that lead vocalist and guitarist Karl Theobald and his band recorded to tape at East Londons Soup Studio. Joining Karl was double bassist and vocalist Rowan Lambourne–Gibbs  and Nigel Woolston on saxophone and clarinet. They released an album that was released to plaudits and praise.

So was the followup Them That Are Bruises, released in October 2016. Here was an album that was full of social comment and tackled issues such as social injustice, money problems, grief as well as the breakup of the family unit. These delivery of these tracks was heartfelt and there’s a sense of reality to these well crafted songs.  Grifter Kid and The Midnight Raiders had matured on their sophomore album Them That Are Bruises.

This continued on Kith and Kin released in December 2017. It was album that features jazz, folk and country, and a British interpretation of Americana. Often this doesn’t work, but Grifter Kid and The Midnight Raiders, but on Kith and Kin it does and in some ways, is reminiscent of Basher himself, Nick Lowe. One can’t help but wonder if he was part of the inspiration for Kith and Kin?

Nineteen months later, Grifter Kid and The Midnight Raiders return with their fourth album The Receipts Of Time, which finds an expanded lineup of the group. Lead vocalist and guitarist Karl Theobald is joined by  drummer Dan Hale, double bassist and vocalist Rowan Lambourne–Gibbs,  pianist Russell Marsh and Nigel Woolston on saxophone and clarinet. They’re joined by guitarist Sam Beer, bassist Gerardo Marrone and flautist Keiron Phelan on what’s best described as a nostalgic look back to the  UK in the seventies and eighties.

Back then, there were three television channels, and wrestling, snooker and darts were what passed for entertainment in the UK. This is now regarded by many as glory days, a much simpler time before the internet and iPhone. However, the seventies was also a time of the three day week, strikes called by superannuated, militant trade union barons who thought nothing of bringing Great Britain to its knees.  They certainly didn’t dine on the fish and chips that Grifter Kid and The Midnight Raiders refers to on The Receipts Of Time. There’s also references to things like pellet guns and the shopping malls that were a feature of towns and cites across the UK life during  the seventies and eighties. These things will bring back good memories for those of a certain age. Others who prefer to live in the now and then will think nostalgia is overrated. That isn’t the case with The Receipts Of Time, Grifter Kid and The Midnight Raiders’ new album.

It’s an eclectic offering where everything from blues, folk, jazz,  pop, swing and ye-ye are joined by elements of Ethiopian music. The highlights include the organ driven blues rock of Gardening In My Suit which opens The Receipts Of Time. It’s followed by Courageous Restraint (War Hero) which is a fusion of disparate genres ranging from jazz-tinged blues to reggae. My Heart and I is a homage to sixties pop and Murder At The Mall is a fifties influenced rock ’n’ ballad.  Later, Dial For A Doppleganger breezes along at a fair old clip as jazz and  Ethiopian music combine with mysterious lyrics on a cinematic track. October Lullaby showcases Grifter Kid and The Midnight’s Raiders’ skills on The Receipts Of Time, while  Wrestling, Darts, Snooker closes the album. It’s another carefully crafted song that seems to be a homage to what’s perceived as a golden age Grifter Kid and The Midnight’s Raiders. 

For their fourth album, The Receipts Of Time, Grifter Kid and The Midnight’s Raiders return with what’s carefully crafted, cerebral and literate songs on what’s an eclectic offering. It features a talented band, who are joined by some guest artists and with their help, create The Receipts Of Time, which is the best album of Grifter Kid and The Midnight’s Raiders career to date.  

Grifter Kid and The Midnight Raiders-The Receipts Of Time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: