Sir Bobby Jukebox: Friendship Gift review – a riot of colour as pop songs

Fri, May 22, 2020, 05:00


Friendship Gift

Sir Bobby Jukebox

Already Dead Records


Sir Bobby Jukebox: Friendship Gift, Already Dead Records, 3 stars

Bobby Aherne is no stranger to the medicinal benefits of a restorative pop tune, as proven by former stretches of time in Dublin bands Ginnels, No Monster Club, and Grand Pocket Orchestra.

From the school of creative togetherness that was Popical Island (a collective of songwriters and bands that swapped members like Premier League football cards), Aherne has always been tuned into the immediacy of songs: start it, shake it about for a few minutes, add texture to suit, end it, and then open up the notebook to start another one.

It has taken some time for new music to emerge (the accompanying press release notes say he was, for a time, “uprooted from his temperate European homeland to subtropical Queensland”), but where there’s a will, etc. The resultant 14-track album is, perhaps, what you might expect, given Aherne’s preferences: a proverbial riot of colour in the form of pop songs.

At about 60 minutes in length, there are inevitable longueurs that adversely affect the songwriter’s spirit of adventure: French Revolution, Fra Lippo Lippi, and Scouts Anthem add little to the listening experience other than thumb-twiddling whilst watching grass grow.

Thankfully, the likes of You are Here, Kung Fu Buffet, World Peace (his rejected Eurovision song entry – so we are informed), and more, highlight Aherne’s human rolodex approach to songwriting. Caution advised, then, but overall this one’s a winner.