The Grubby Mitts are a band from Bedford, UK lead by acclaimed artist Andy Holden alongside long-term collaborators and friends Johnny Parry, Roger Illingworth, James MacDowell and John Blamey. Now in their early thirties, they have been playing together in various line-ups since the age of twelve. This album has taken 8 years to complete.
What the World Needs Now Is, is positioned as part-anthology, part debut album; a cornucopia of sounds from the willfully eclectic output of the Grubby Mitts past and present. The record is deliberately incongruous, with ambient electronic pieces juxtaposed with pop songs, string quartets, spoken word and a children's choir and school orchestra. Often one line refrains are repeated and layered in an attempt to grapple with vast sentiments; such as the single "To a Friend's House the Way is Never Long" and the Gavin Bryars' esq "We sat together the mountain and I until only the mountain remained". Other tracks include a triumphant, joyous anthem ("Standard"), a curious re-working of an old English poem (The Unquiet Grave), a song that changes genre part way through (Bubbleblower), lounge jazz (Lenny), English pop (Home at Last) and songs that seem to build as much around lists as lyrics (Pessimism of the Intellect, Worm of Eternal Return).
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.