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North Sea Scrolls Double CD

3.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (19 Nov. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Double CD
  • Label: Fantastic Plastic
  • ASIN: B0097BY3O2
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 58,070 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Preamble - Intro
  2. Broadmoor Blues Delta
  3. Mr Cynthia
  4. I'm Not The Man You Think I Am Karen, I'm The Actor Tony Allen
  5. Witches In The Water
  6. I Am Falconetti
  7. The Papal Pagan
  8. Ayatollah Cornelius
  9. The Morris Man Cometh
  10. Tim Hardin MP
  11. Enoch Powell - Space Poet
  12. The Australian IRA Show
  13. My Mother My Dead Mother
  14. Narration - (outro)
  15. Anthem Of The Scrolls

Disc: 2

  1. Preamble - Intro
  2. Scroll 1
  3. Broadmoor Blues Delta
  4. Scroll 2
  5. Mr Cynthia
  6. Scroll 3
  7. I'm Not The Man You Think I Am Karen, I'm The Actor Tony Allen
  8. Scroll 4
  9. Witches In The Water
  10. Scroll 5
  11. The Papal Pagan
  12. Scroll 6
  13. Ayatollah Cornelius
  14. Scroll 7
  15. I Am Falconetti
  16. Scroll 8
  17. The Morris Man Cometh
  18. Scroll 9
  19. Tim Hardin MP
  20. Scroll 10
  21. Enoch Powell Space Poet
  22. Scroll 11
  23. The Australian IRA Show
  24. Scroll 12
  25. My Mother My Dead Mother
  26. Scroll 13/outro
  27. Anthem Of The Scrolls

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Originally premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2011, this is the studio recording of The North Sea Scrolls - a re-imagining of the history of the UK by singer-songwriters Luke Haines & Cathal Coughlan and writer Andrew Mueller. Here's how Haines sums up the concept:

"It's about some hidden information that's become known as the North Sea Scrolls that have come to our notice. This information fundamentally would redefine the way we view our entire history as a nation, and possibly as a planet. It's no small change, this North Sea Scrolls business."

Amongst their re-imaginings, Joe Meek is appointed the Minister of Culture by Lord Protector Oswald Mosley, DJ Chris Evans is burnt at the stake and Enoch Powell, the former "excitable Secretary of State for Death", is now the Poet Laureate. They name check almost everybody from Charles Bronson, Sid James and Gazza to wannabe Princess Anne kidnapper Ian Ball and his namesake (the guitarist from Gomez!) and Tony Allen (a bit-part actor from The Sweeney and Minder). Haines lyrics in particular are laugh out loud funny at times.

A concept album, the first disc features a couple of narratives and 13 songs - six written and sung by Haines, six written and sung by Coughlan with the final track being a collaborative effort. The second disc consists of 'The Whole Show', where the exact same songs from the first disc are preceded by a narrative written and performed by Mueller where he informs the listener of the contents of The North Sea Scrolls. Each narrative is between 1-2 minutes in length and the subject matter of each one is followed by a reinterpretation in song form by either Haines or Coughlan.
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By Keith M TOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 Jan. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Luke Haines and Cathal Coughlan's re-writing of 20th century British Isles history in the story of The North Sea Scrolls provides a truly delightful (and, of course, a darkly satirical) set of musings. With the accompaniment between 'songs' of journalist and author Andrew Mueller's dulcet explanatory monologue, the pair of songsmiths have surpassed themselves, certainly purely in terms of witty levels of invention.

Mixing fact and fiction at will, the Scrolls' cast of characters is wide and varied and at various points each of Joe Meek (Minister of Culture), Oswald Mosley (Lord Protector), papists, Sid James, Ayatollahs, Hawkwind, Morris Men, Enoch Powell (Poet Laureate), Steve Hillage, On The Buses, Plastic Bertrand, Gazza (not the strip) and all things Australian come under scrutiny - the latter in one of Coughlan's finest moments, in which Australian tribute acts are taken to their (logical?) extreme in the form of (Coughlan's song) The Australian IRA Show (inspired by an Irish musician named Corr).

The North Sea Scrolls comprises 2 CDs - one with (essentially) just the 12 Scrolls songs, plus (one of the album's highlights) The Anthem Of The Scrolls - and the second with Mueller's full narration betwixt (oh no, they've got me at it now!) the songs. I must admit to a definite preference for Haines' compositions - for me, some of these are right up there with the best Auteurs' songs (and likewise make excellent use of the cello, in this case played by Audrey Riley).
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Format: Audio CD
If you want an alternative history of the so-called British Isles, a journey with the epic soothsayers Haines and Coughlan, then you have come to the right alley. Who knew that these music leg-ends knew each other in the first place? Their songs flow seamlessly and touch on the dark side of the underground , an upside-down terrain where Gomez go mad in Broodmoor, Chris Evans is a saint and religion and politics coem unstuck.The timeline poster in the CD packaging puts it all in place and is outrageouslly funny.
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Format: Audio CD
The North Sea Scrolls is a concept album and academic lecture by Luke Haines (The Auteurs, Baader Meinhof, Black Box Recorder, and fine solo albums) and Cathal Coughlan (Microdisney, The Fatima Mansions, and fine solo albums), and with narrations by Andrew Mueller, that presents an alternate history of Britain in song and spoken word.

The version I bought has two versions of the album in one lovely double CD package. CD1 is just the songs (15 tracks), whilst CD2 is the same songs with excerpts from each of the North Sea Scrolls between each track (27 tracks). The album's narrative makes more sense on CD2 but realistically most listeners will probably not want to hear the full version after getting a handle on the concept. The album's premise is that the North Sea Scrolls were discovered stashed in an East Anglian boarding house and the scrolls contain a hidden history of Britain.

50% of the songs are sung by Cathal Coughlan, and 50% sung by Luke Haines. The listening experience suggests that each artist worked independently on the songs - as each style is so distinctive. I find that Cathal Coughlan's songs are harsher and angrier, whilst Luke Haines' are a bit more accessible and immediate.

Luke's tunes continue his usual obsessions, and throw in a few new ones too, and the album's concept is typically Haines-ian. After a preamble about the Scrolls we're off and running with a classic Luke Haines song "Broadmoor Blues Delta" which embraces Gomez (the Mercury Prize winning band of yesteryear), a Vauxhall Astra, the man who tried to kidnap Princess Anne, Berkshire, a sing song in a psychiatric unit to Robert Johnson, the "MTV blues" courtesy of The White Stripes, and so on. How can anyone not love this man? Wonderful.
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