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Let's Get the Hell Back to Lubbock: The Best of Terry & Gerry

Terry & Gerry

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Album Review

The notion of a leftist skiffle revival band sounds like a cryptic joke that would be circulated only among rock critics, but Terry Lilley and Gerry Colvin actually made this curious formula a reality for a few years in the mid-'80s, and Cherry Red Records has assembled their entire recorded works on one CD as proof. Terry & Gerry cranked out three singles, two EPs, and one full-length album between 1984 and 1986, and they're all featured in their entirety on Let's Get the Hell Back to Lubbock, which is dominated by Colvin's sweet but slightly cocky lead vocals and acoustic guitar, Lilley's upright bass and harmonies, and a washboard holding down the percussion in the manner of Lonnie Donegan and the other leading lights of the U.K.'s pre-rock skiffle craze. The duo's tunes were witty, often displaying a political undercurrent and a sharp take on the fads and failings of the day, and while Terry & Gerry's stripped-down arrangements howled gimmick on one level, they also worked just fine for the songs, and the group's willingness to take on issues of racism, economic injustice, and the dangers of conformity made for a nice balance with the retro-styled musical approach. Listening to Let's Get the Hell Back to Lubbock, one doesn't quite hear a great lost band of the '80s, but it certainly succeeds in making the point that Terry & Gerry deserved a better shake from both fans and the press than they got during their day in the sun — at its best, this disc is smart, funny stuff that's performed with fire and heart, and it makes being on the left sound a lot more fun than Chumbawamba ever managed. Completists should note this includes three unreleased live tracks from a 1985 show that reveals the band had a knack for making its music come to life in front of a crowd.

Let's Get the Hell Back to Lubbock: The Best of Terry & Gerry, Terry & Gerry
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