Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Mr Bloe - Groovin' With Mr Bloe (1970/ No. 2/ 19 weeks/ DJM)


What couldpossibly be more 1970 then a novelty discotheque harmonica one hit wonder? A novelty discotheque harmonica one hit wonder performed a knocked together made-up band of top session musicians, of course! (The harmonica ace behind Mr Bloe is Harry Pitch, who can also be heard on the theme tune to Last Of The Summer Wine)

The title encourages the listener to think of the harmonica as being the musical embodiment of Mr Bloe, and the single as the wordless epitome of Mr Bloe's conception of grooving. And Mr Bloe most assuredly and instantly memorable groove to share with us -

Wahwah! Wah-wah Wahwah wah Wawah! Wah Wawah!

repeated many times. But Mr Bloe can also be a reflective and laid back character, who sometimes breaks off from his main groove to look over his shoulder and give a smile to the listener -

Wah wah Wawah - Wahwahwah...

He's brought some friends along with him, too. Although they are very much supporting characters in the Mr Bloe show, their contributions are vital. There's a peripatetic bassline - dumdadalumlum- dumdumdum! - and a drum that provides cascading rolls whenever Mr Bloe catches his breath, and lets us know that yet another

Wahwah! Wah-wah Wahwah wah Wawah! Wah Wawah!

is about to reappear and delight us once again.

Like a lot of instrumental records, the particular delight of Mr Bloe lies in its use of space, ensuring that the listener fully discerns every pleasurable detail of the record and immediately wants to play it again to moment that it finishes.

Postscript: Oh this is interesting - I've just found the US original single that Mr Bloe is a UK copy of. It sounds more Northern Soul and a bit more frenetic than the British hit -

So, whether by accident or design, the session musician version does change the tune into something different, and not in a cheap or tacky way.

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