Sarah Davy

CD review: Pete Scott – Songs to Sing & Jokes to Tell

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Pete Scott’s latest album – a comedy album no less – tells tales rooted in the culture and identity of the North East.

Combining humour and truth in his distinctive and accomplished style, Songs to Sing & Jokes to Tell is a real treat.

From the pitfalls of modern living in “Spam” and “Bubble” to the sad fate of “Billy Gibson’s Things”, there is a story or a joke for everyone.

Scott’s blues influences ring out through the album, and the simple, stark recording with a solo guitar bring the ghosts of Joe Wilson and the music halls back to life.

Clever use of rhyme and dialect give a real warmth and sincerity to the tracks, bringing the mundane and humorous aspects of everyday life in the North East to the fore.

All of the lyrics are open, accessible, and importantly, inoffensive, a breath of fresh air in a world where comedy can often be suggestive, provocative, and just plain rude!

My personal favourite is “BB King Keyring”, exploring the life changing ability and futility of a simple gift.

Scott’s storytelling aesthetic is rooted deep in folk and blues, and in the local area, making him a perfect custodian of the tradition.

The album gives us all something to enjoy, to be proud of, and to reflect on.

A great introduction to Pete’s music if you’re new to it like me, and a welcome follow up to Why Sing Goodbye Songs for fans.