Review of Bunny And The Bull Original Motion Soundtrack by The Ralfe Band released through Ghost Ship Records.
'Bunny And The Bull' is the road movie that barely leaves the confines of the protagonists Kings Cross flat. It is directed by The Mighty Boosh's Paul King and, although you may not notice, is apparently filmed in Nottingham. It takes you on a slightly surreal, and sometime dark, recollective journey through parts of Europe recounting some less than salubrious tales of a misspent youth. (Visits to The German Museum Of Cutlery and The National Shoe Museum Of Poland keep the surrealism at the fore). Edward Hogg stars as Stephen and Simon Farnaby as Bunny with cameos from the Boosh's very own Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt plotted in for added interest and intrigue. The film, released last November, and soon to be out on DVD, has had a mixed bag of reviews, generally giving the 'attempt' at a big screen breakthrough a positive, if not overwhelmingly enthusiastic, critique.
The soundtrack to the movie has been composed and performed by The Ralfe Band. After two previous studio albums, 'Swords' and 2008's 'Attic Thieves', this could be seen as somewhat of a departure from the norm. However The Ralfe Band have obviously been chosen with great care and forethought with regard to their ultimate capability to interpret such an individual, very English eccentric, project. Oly Ralfe, he of the bands name, has previously even done a spot of film directing himself and some of their previous work has been said to be akin to a David Lynch movie. (Praise indeed).
The soundtrack itself stands alone as a body of music. You may not be putting it on repeat play, but, it works very nicely in conjuring up all sorts of imagery without the necessity for the movie to accompany it. Of the 22 compositions that make up the album only 3 have a lyrical content and constitute a 'song'. The remaining pieces are very well composed instrumentals that evoke great and glorious pictures. Within the mix you will find suggestions of Victorian villainy, Vaudeville Music Hall, Eastern European Folk dance, some Chinese Theatre and a Freak Show/Circus Of The Macabre sensibility to the whole affair. There is a feeling of reliving the best parts of 'Tales Of The Unexpected' or the 'Hammer House Of Horrors' small screen classics. On track #3, 'Museum', there is even the odd bit of 'Raw sex' (Roland Rivron's house band for French & Saunders!) thrown in there for good measure. Couple that with a few 'White Stripes' style power chords and 'Coral' esq organ parts and you have a fabulous multifaceted melange.
The soundtrack to 'Bunny And The Bull' is a fascinating, if ultimately underappreciated, piece of work. Aside from the evocation developed by the music what also sets this soundtrack apart, from some others that are merely filling the gaps, is the quality of the piano compositions and treatments. They themselves deserve further exploration and indulgence. As a venture to further their cause this will have done The Ralfe Band no harm at all. 'Bunny And The Bull' may well become some sort of cult classic, having been likened already to a latter day Withnail & I. If you loved the film, I've no doubt the music to accompany it will have also given great pleasure and will probably spawn as much discussion and debate.