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Jay Foreman

Note: This review is from 2010

Review by Steve Bennett

There’s a lot to like in guitarist Jay Foreman’s assured debut, a laid-back and friendly presentation of witty, slightly eccentric tracks, enlivened with a warm, varied delivery.

His compositions are broken up with not just the usual preambles, but unusual bits of business such as performing a two-hander play with an audience volunteer, reciting verses written when stoned and – in a wonderful and presumably difficult party piece – singing a couple of well-known songs with the lyrics one syllable behind the tune.

These, however, are just the baubles that adorn the main attraction. The songs – or more likely half-songs, as he’s never one to let a gag outstay its welcome – tend to come from slightly odd ideas, then performed with flourishes and unexpected twists to add to the joke. For the most part, there’s a well-developed drollness to the writing, meaning he’s one of those musical comics who actually earn their end-of-song applause breaks, rather than just benefiting from the Pavlovian response.

The stand-out track for me was the beautifully provocative song about John Lennon, and how his reputation would have crumbled had he continued into middle-age; although the jaunty student-aimed Stealing Food is as catchy as it is wrong. The silly Moon Chavs was apparently an internet hit, though it’s actually one of his simpler numbers.

Generally, the writing is sharp and sophisticated and the musicianship strong, making him a sort of Victoria Wood for the Spotify generation. Slightly Imperfect Girl is probably the track that best sums up his attitude to life, being a realistic love song yet still quietly celebratory.

A couple of the slower, more whimsical songs reduce the laugh rate,, but they never last long enough to cause a lull, so fall under the category of adding texture to what is a classy and funny lunchtime spirit-raiser. Thoroughly enjoyable stuff

Review date: 16 Aug 2010
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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