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Altogther Now - Birds Bees Flowers Trees

Patrick & Eugene

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Album Review

Patrick Dawes and Eugene Bezodis are the kind of dyed-in-the-wool British oddballs one might have assumed the world stopped producing sometime around when the Monty Python crew went their separate ways. The Python comparison is particularly salient in this case, as Patrick & Eugene's primary influence appears to be Python cohorts the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. The extremely British-sounding brand of whimsy the duo employs consistently conjures up images of the Bonzos bringing their trad-jazz/skiffle leanings to bear on the goofiest, most grin-worthy sections of the Paul McCartney songbook — say "Good Day Sunshine" or "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey." But even if you've got a good idea of what that might sound like, Patrick & Eugene throw a curveball by using prominent dance beats on several tracks, taking their sprightly tunes from vaudeville/music hall territory to a place closer to the Kid Creole/Dr. Buzzard universe. This latter development is most likely traceable to Dawes' work as a percussionist with British housemeisters Groove Armada. Altogether Now is the pair's first U.S. release, and in the tradition of the great punk/new wave conflation packages of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s that introduced many U.K. acts to America, it brings together the best cuts from both of the previous Patrick & Eugene albums, adding a couple of new bonus cuts for good measure. "Saturday Night" is the most striking of the new tracks, bringing out the ska-inflected Fun Boy Three side of the duo's musical personality. Album-opener "The Birds and the Bees" is the song that gave the boys their biggest lift in England, thanks to its use in a Gordon's gin commercial, and its ukulele-disco vibe sets the tone right off the bat. These musical pranksters aren't above plundering from modern pop either — even if you never imagined Kylie Minogue's "Can't Get You Out of My Head" as a Madness-style, knees-up song before hearing the Patrick & Eugene version, you'll probably never be able to think of it any other way afterwards.

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Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

A pop/rock duo, Patrick & Eugene made their name in England from 2003 onward with a series of performances and recordings that combined '60s pop, psychedelia, Dixieland jazz, and the influences of Afro-Cuban jazz, '60s reggae, the music of John Cage, and '20s pop, all of it mashed together into something that sounds like a modern incarnation of the Bonzo Dog Band. Percussionist Patrick Dawes — a drum-playing, object-banging fool by most accounts, as well as programmer and occasional singer...
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Altogther Now - Birds Bees Flowers Trees, Patrick & Eugene
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