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Blog: Durham Ox Singers Unleashed

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For years and years I have been BANGING ON about how The Durham Ox Singers are the GRATE Undiscovered Art Project of the 20th Century. "Is this because you was in them?" people ask me and of course the answer is NO, hem hem, I would think that even if they were nothing to do with me, honest.

For those UNLUCKY enough never to have heard my CORRECT argument about this, The Durham Ox Singers were a group of six people who were all regulars in The Durham Ox pub in Leicester, run by Mr D Dixey and thus de facto HQ of Sorted Records and meeting place of much of the Leicester Indie Scene of that time. Me and Dave were starting a regular gig night called LollopaLeicester (good name!) and wanted to have a regular THING every month to make it more than just... well, a regular gig night. After much thought and a LOT of Bass Beer we came up with the idea of an acapella group performing hits of the Avant Garde... because you would really, wouldn't you?

Anyway, one thing led to another, we persuaded a bunch of people in the pub one night (half from bands, half not) to have a go and it all went SO well that Dave suggested we record a SINGLE, so we did, with our acapella version of Revolution #9 as the lead track. It is, frankly, AMAZING, and when I listen to it now I am ASTOUNDED that I was ever involved in something SO BRILLIANT. We did a few more gigs (including a QUITE ODD appearance at a folk festival where we were told in no uncertain terms that ENOUGH was ENOUGH) and then did a whole ALBUM with Mr A Jenkins at Cordelia Studios. This album was called Mute Nostril Agony and featured our entire live set (including another version of 'Revolution #9') and BEST OF ALL a pretty darn exciting version of John Cage's 4'33".

And there the story might have ended - LollopaLeicester came to an end, we stopped doing gigs and, as far as I'm aware, nobody ever bought the album so the only copies belonged to the band. Until, that is, a couple of weeks ago when Dave got in touch again to say that he'd found a way to release the album DIGITALLY (and quite cheaply). After some discussion I provided a new version of the album cover (the original had Tom Baker on it and Dave was worried about getting clearance) and LO! a few days ago word came through that it was LIVE, on Amazon, iTunes, Spotify and, I guess, ALL other digital download sites!

Let's all take a delightful moment to allow that to settle in. On Spotify there is now an acapella version of John Cage's 4'33" recorded by six twits in Leicester for LARKS. MARVELLOUS. This is a "Deluxe Reissue" too, so as well as the original album you get ALL of the single AND some remixes too!

I heartily recommend a LISTEN to it as it is GRATE, and I look forward to it finally receiving the PLAUDITS from the Avant Garde Community what it has so long deserved!

posted 21/6/2016 by MJ Hibbett

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Hey Mark,its Ann, this was a brave step, hadn't thought about making this for years! We did have some fun. Hoping to get down to your gig at Firebug so should see you then
posted 23/6/2016 by Ann Bates

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