The Puddle – “The Shakespeare Monkey” – what’s on it…

As It Was – Those who enjoyed the piano epic “Hudibras” from “No Love – No Hate” will adore this lush and beautifully arranged AOR* ballad about British author, “people’s philosopher” and self-proclaimed “genius”, Colin Wilson. (*Alternatively-Oriented Rock).

So Good – A high-octane garage rock tune possibly about temptation and trust with a nod to The Who perhaps and a fair amount of fuzzed out guitars and old-fashioned rock theatrics.

Friends – A Puddle favourite dating from the 1980s but never properly recorded at the time. This is The Puddle at its psychedelic best. Check out the mind-melting video for this too.

Dylanesque – As the title suggests this is a “Highway 61” era Dylan-inspired piece that has three tempo changes and actually may have more in common with the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band or even early Verlaines as it does Dylan. In which case it could equally be called “Dunedinesque”. But it’s not.

You’re So Pretty – A song of adoration given an exotic beauty by Alan Starrett’s beautiful string arrangement.

Shivver – Another favourite from the early 90’s Puddle live repertoire given an explosive edge-of-the-seat high-octane garage-rock makeover.

Solace – “There’s so much beauty in this world for everyone/ though I expect we’re probably doomed”. But a sweet song with an early Beatles feel maybe for all that.

The Shakespeare Monkey – The Puddle take a side-trip through the Resident’s fairground in search of the monkey who will type the works of Shakespeare for them. Eventually. We’d all like one of those, wouldn’t we?

One Romantic Gesture – What it says on the label. The chorus refrain of “I could be like Keats or Chatterton/ Dead romantic/ Lying in a bed of my old songs” refers to English poets much admired by the Romantics who died young and heartbroken.

Parasol – An instrumental (“a song waiting for words” says George) featuring the circuitry of Dr Robert Moog and the keyboard arrangements of Junk Shop Star. Possible nods in the direction of The Clean, HDU, Aamon Duul and Sigur Ros, but maybe not.

Seduced by Virgins – Not some kind of male fantasy, but a song about a dream, sung from the perspective of the satyr Pan (he of Greek mythology fame, and partial to the odd nymph or so the story goes) in the limbic half-light of semi-awakeness.

High on the Hog – an update of the The Puddle’s earlier environmental anthem “Terminator II” from the SFEV album with a nod or two in the direction of The Stooges.

Milk – Epic tale of someone infatuated with a 1950’s movie star and suffused with gypsy-inspired viola and violin interweaving from Alan Starrett – “America the beautiful, God spread her grace on thee…”

Trauma Bear – The Puddle do Indie-pop. A sweet cartoon of a song about a very brave bear featuring melodica and tubular bells of course.

No Good – Another high-octane garage-rock classic with some wild guitar, fuzz bass and clattering drums. Another one of George’s rockstar fantasies in other words.

Naked – A gorgeous flowing dream that has very quickly become a live favourite.

Don’t Kill the Golden Goose – A song about very lucky poultry and why they shouldn’t be overcooked.

The Shakespeare Monkey

The Shakespeare Monkey

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