EP Review – Commit No Nuisance by Nigel Planer and Neil Avery (2021) (Pink Deer Records)

I’m old. Old enough to understand 80/90s pop culture and find it endearing. One bastion of such aged pop culture, was a manic depressive hippy, loving stripped of all relevance, via the name Neil and the manic bullying of his housemates, in the cult comedy TV show, The Young Ones. “Bloody Hell Neil” was the catchphrase screamed at him every time he tried to utter a word and as such every Neil of the period suffered similar daily ignomy.
Neil was played by Nigel Planer the wordsmith is this act, who has teamed up with his friend and well known financial sector / singer songwriter, Neil Avery, to release this somewhat surprisingly wonderful EP.
Of course they could have played upon Planers’s fame and the undoubted general affection of the British public (he later went on to become something of a British comedic instituition) to promote and sell eleventy squillion copies of this release.
The fact that this duo do not play ‘that card’ somehow fits. For this album is obviously a labour of absolute of love and is just too good from a musical perspective, to suffer any dismissal of its brilliance by being encapsulated by an unseemly media haze.
For this partnership seem to have found natural bedfellows for both the gregarious levels of melodies that permeate the Avery tune and the inner wordsmith of Planer that was plainly seeking, and deserving of, a poetic expression.
As such we see the EP thrive in everything that was perfect about the 60s and not fatuous about the 70s. The seventies is represented by the piano laden pop rock of Talk It Out and Breathe, which refuse re-hash the garish Elton John route or the Smaltzy of Neil Diamond, preferring the under-stated lamentations and intropsective melodies that only British reservations can really thrive within.
Similarly the  70’s is also felt in the beautiful freak folk / Americana mixture of Commit No Nuisance, with its fluttering, twinkling banjo / ukelele (that difference is for connossieurs of such things!) that stands out as the mid release obtuse track.
However, it is the fans of the 60s that are really going to benefit from this. Taking the  jangle-pop / indie-pop core of the current Lost Ships sound and stripping it of all modernity, tracks such as Phoning Home From Away and What You Don’t Know are Guy Clark with a British accent fronting, The Byrdsian chimem whilst carefully removing any whiff of West Coast psychedelia. It is Crystalline jangle at a level of purity that it is hard to imagine being usurped within the parameters of the modern ADHD, world of Spotify singles.
I have absolutely no idea whether this duo have the time, inclination or belief in themselves to release anything else, or indeed whether it is just their effort to assist in the mental health awareness initiatives the release supports. However, I hope they will return, as it would be a genuine shame, if, just this, was it.








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