This review is from: Sticky Wickets (Audio CD)
I really enjoyed the first Duckworth Lewis Method CD; it was both good music played by good musicians and, just as importantly, jolly good fun. As such, I was really looking forward to the release of their follow-up album.
In the event, I actually saw the band promote the album "live" at the Nottingham Playhouse during the summer in the run-up to the Ashes Test Matches (It might seem a million years ago, but we actually won that series with a degree of conviction). The supporting act was pretty good, David Hepworth was the urbane host, there was an interesting chat with a surprisingly acerbic Simon Hughes and the Duckworth Lewis Method were very good indeed; good enough, moreover, to make me go out and buy the new album.
In truth, I don't think it's quite as impressive as its predecessor, but there's some good stuff here and no real duds. Stand-out tracks for me are "It's Just Not Cricket" and the rather melancholic "The Umpire". It has been said that the whole enterprise is very much an homage to ELO's Jeff Lynne, but the recording has a distinct musical voice of its own; it's far from being a quirky "joke" album perpetuated by two "proper" musicians "slumming it" to indulge their passion for cricket.
A number of guest artists feature on the disc, including Crowded House's Neil Finn and Nick Seymour and the trumpeter Billy Cooper, of "Barmy Army" fame. Familiar voices include Stephen Fry, Daniel Radcliffe, Matt Berry and, from the world of cricket, Henry Blofeld and David Lloyd, while there is a host of celebrity "Significant Nudgers" on "Nudging and Nurdling", the disc's catchy, but for me slightly disappointing, final track.
In truth, you do need to be a cricket lover to get the most out of this album, but there is much for music lovers to enjoy here as well; this will not, I suspect, go down as a "classic" album, but it is one to which I will undoubtedly return whenever the fancy takes me.