Screaming Orphans: Life in a Carnival review – Parochial and twee

Fri, Mar 29, 2019, 05:00


Life In A Carnival

Screaming Orphans

Self release


At the turn of the century, the Channel 4 sketch comedy show Smack the Pony perfected the art of the parody music video, sending up the likes of All Saints, Geri Halliwell and The Corrs with the perfect balance of good-hearted fun and unabashed ridiculousness. But what’s parody for some is reality for others and Smack the Pony’s reimagining of 1990s chart hits wouldn’t sound out of place on sibling trad-pop outfit Screaming Orphans’ 14th album.

From overcoming everyday struggles such as having wet feet on Ordinary Woman to making a playground plea for peace on 1 2 3 4 (“1! 2! 3! 4! What’s this all for? Why don’t we just sing along?”) and a breathy ode to Guardian Angels, Joan, Gráinne, Angela and Marie Thérèse Diver from Bundoran, Co Donegal, cover a wide range of topics and an overly twee version of The Turtles’ Happy Together, which they recently performed on The Late Late Show. Stuck on a merry-go-round of parochial Paddy’s Day parades from the past, Screaming Orphans’ Life in a Carnival is what happens when you’ve one too many spins on the hurdy-gurdies.