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world sanguine report
"(tom) challenger's next role was as rowdy back-row cheerleader for vocalist-writer andrew plummer who was backed by his six-piece world sanguine report - imagine mark anthony-turnage performed at a weimar cabaret if you will. previewing new material, plummer displays an angsty, pent-up rage, sometimes venturing with megaphone amoung the audience, to let loose his grumbling, gravely holler, indebted to don van vliet as much as nick cave or tom waits" (live review, selwyn harris jazzwise may 11)

"captain beefheart meets tom waits in a bar. they get drunk have a sing off and what you end up with is third one rises. when you think about it neither beefheart nor waits really have anyone that sounds like them or tries to emulate them so what andrew plummer and world sanguine report have created here is fairly unique. like the two artists i’ve mentioned there are obvious influences. big band, swing, blues and jazz are present here to a lesser or greater extent but the resulting album is more than just an amalgam of those sounds.

actually the album starts off by leading you in a completely different direction and i thought i was in for an album of prog rock music with a touch of gong. but this is only present on the first track and the album heads off at a tangent from that at a fair old speed ending up in a far different head space.

from track two onwards we move further and further into stranger territory. track 2 sounds like the doors doing strange days with tom waits doing the vocals. track three we’re into jazz/big band  territory and so it goes getting more and more like trout mask replica as the tracks go by until by track 8 we’ve left tom waits behind and have taken captain beefheart fully on board. (play anyone track 10 “jazz hell murder ballard,” and ask them who it is and the only answer they’ll come up with is “beefheart.”)

this is a lovely release. i know nothing about andrew plummer, all the tracks are credited as written by him but there is also a large number of other musicians on the album including some well-known names from the jazz world like alex bonney and david kane.  one off project or long term band i don’t know but with this performance it would be nice to see another world sanguine report album in the near future." (album review, david bourgoin musique machine jan 11)

"a warning is required, i think, to preface this review. if the names ‘sleepytime gorilla museum’, ‘motherhead bug’ or ‘marc ribot’ instil in you a sense of dread or make the bile rise in your gorge, or if you are just jazz-intolerant, walk away now.

go on. off you pop, you won’t like this. not at all.

right, those of you still reading are going to love world sanguine report. just love ‘em. i know I do.

imagine, if you will, a de-metallized sleepytime gorilla museum, jazzed-up and full of squonking, blattering horns and fronted by a deranged huckster channelling the disembodied bellow of tom waits, the fruity baritone of the divine comedy’s neil hannon and the warped larynx of arrington de dionyso of warped avant-ur-blues purveyors old time relijun. does that sound good to you? if so, then ‘third one rises’ is right up your dark back-alley.

rabid adherents to waits’ ‘jazz from hell’ aesthetic, w.s.r. are a peculiarly british riot of goose-honking sax, murky, dirty double-bass, off-kilter, shonky, stumbling ribot-esque guitar lines and drunken flailing octopoid drumming that breaks off into random tempo-shifts and even messy blastbeats, all topped off with frontman andrew plummer’s molasses and broken glass-gargling vocal performance.

there is a suggestion of dank, victorian decay to w.s.r's musical outbursts, carried through in the suggestiveness of the song titles – amongst them, ‘one yard bard’, ‘rot’, ‘nine tango fuck’, and ‘jazz [hell] murder ballad’ – all reminiscent of bad voodoo and general unpleasantness. this is a filthy sounding record, full of the cloying smog of old laaahndaan taaahn, and you may feel the urge to scrub your ears out with carbolic soap after listening to it for a while.

it's creepy, its kooky, its altogether ookie, and god help me, i love it. now fetch me a map of whitechapel and call me a hansom cab, i must clean the streets!!!" (album review, paul robertson bad acid magazine feb 10)

“two men down due to snow in the north there was still five in world sanguine report and that proved more than enough to make mighty noise and chaos. sinister showman andrew plummer, besuited and bedraggled, prowled and posed while crooning and bellowing his songs, with slightly smarter matthew bourne combined gap-toothed fender piano and growling korg. overstated lines like “there’s no room here for your love”  brought a touch of godot, enhanced by the overall absurdity and deadpan contributions of alex bonney (trumpet) and james allsopp (sax/clarinet). they looked laconic but played like demons when required, the music shifting from shockingly disciplined to frenetic crescendo or ambient modality to match plummer’s singing. he moved between threatening intimacy and deranged demagoguery, rasping and roaring full-throated desperation like an addled tom waits before cutting off with a terrifying fixed smile. it was fabulous, refreshing and uncategorisable music and excellent theatre.” (live review, tony benjamin the venue jan 10

“third one rises” is the sound of a bar jazz band gone berserk. a punch of highly talented british musicians are torturing their respective instruments and tom waits’ evil twin brother takes up the microphone spitting, crying, growling, whispering and howling out his inner demons. this wicked incarnation of a crooner is called andrew plummer and “third one rises” is his new band’s debut album - but damned be everyone who wouldn’t initially assume these musicians have already got and sung the blues for a lifetime before they recorded this album in hell.

andrew plummer seems to be one of those surreal personalities able to hold a candle to the godfather of whacky bar jazz and cabaret influenced experiments who is tom waits. and well, tom waits is the reference in question, obviously. Of course there are other references ranging from nick cave’s extremer moments to captain beefheart and john zorn and mike patton’s many collaborations that could be thrown into the pot at this point - his “influences” section on myspace is endless and includes everything from napalm death to karlheinz stockhausen. but in the end, it is as simple as that: if you like waits you sure as hell gonna like this album.

the songs soak up everything from insane folk tunes, avant-garde jazz, dissonant blues punk to dance music for mutants with five-and-a-half legs. opener one yard bsard kicks off with the album’s crazier side, messy improvisations over tight rhythms and plummer’s baritone soaring all over it like he alone sees some insane logic behind it all. the musicians behind reeds, trumpet, piano (and gongs!), bass and drums are all supposed to be huge in the english underground but that doesn’t mean you or i have ever heard about any of them so far. the one most likely to ring a bell is billy jenkins, who’s bluesy guitar makes a guest appearance twice. the band slays during these 40 minutes, laying claim to all the shades from sweetness to brutality, with their instruments constantly leaving the path to explore even more improvisational and dissonant grounds, always on the verge of entirely forgetting to accompany plummer’s theatrical tales and breaking free. this kind of schizophrenic state in which both the singer and the band seem to have a life of their own works surprisingly well and finds new ways to clash and/or fit again and again.

the artwork already gives a good hint of how wicked this album’s own world is, featuring several eerie woodcuts (i suppose they’re woodcuts), looking like they’d fit right into some really old fairy tale book which in reality never educated but only scared the children shitless. actually plummer’s lyrical work on here might best be compared to nick cave, who shares with him a similar vision, bleak and full of dark humour. “i’m tired of shouting from rooftops” he grumbles in the title track and then goes on “another glass and another cut, / a salted nail, / a lustless deep-fried dread crumb fvck”. half the time no-one but himself is likely to have any idea what he is actually singing about, but the lyrics hardly ever fail to have an impact, even at their most cryptic: “and where it’s rot grows I’ll be found. / with wings of marzipan and lust, / an epoxide heart and wood spat cankerous crust.”

as far away from easy listening as possible, world sanguine report are unlikely to create more than a cult following, although the success of forebears like nick cave and tom waits might work in the band’s favour. where the future will take plummer and his guilty parties we don’t know, but there’s a feeling this won’t be the last masterpiece of his warped mind." (third one rises album review mendigo, sputnik music dec 09)

"this is the sound of captain beefheart being toasted and poked by pitchforks in hell while an unholy melding of the magic band and john zorn's naked city hoot up the most cacophonous skronk-fest ever heard in those hideous, fiery pits. world sanguine report was formed by composer and vocalist andrew plummer in order to bring life and form to his scabrous storytelling, and what an incredible creation it is. if tom waits in his full swordfishtrombones pomp had decided to make a jazz album, it would possible have sounded like this. an exemplary ensemble of players slide with ease from abstracted ruminations to the edge of full-on fee meltdown, while plummer shrieks and hollers like a man with sever vocal convulations. he has a deep rich baritone voice also, sounding almost like a weary david sylvian on 'overhead slow'. a natural successor to the most out-ther experimental mindwarps of early seventies british jazz and rock." (third one rises album review euan andrews, rock-a-rolla oct 09)

"i don’t think in terms of ‘best record of the year’, but this one forces me to do so. this is absolutely one of the most amazing records I have heard this year. but only after i had conquered my allergy for tom waits- and nick cave-like voices. listening to “third one rises” these comparisons are inevitable but please forget them if they disturb you. because this one absolutely deserves your attention. it is a long time ago since i met such outstanding musical madness. an intriguing mix of influences, cooked and served by andrew plummer. we hear over the top and very inventive arrangements, played with incredible virtuosity in function of clear defined songs that are really made of flesh and blood. we have to deal with songs where musicians take different routes and solos at the same time, with music that continuously interrupts itself, with musicians that play out of phase, but where at the same time everything wonderfully fits in some mysterious way. so this is very intelligently constructed music that is very bizarre and wild at the same time. the musicians who clear this incredible job are: james allsopp (reeds), alex bonney (trumpet), matthew bourne (piano, gongs), tom greenhalgh (drums), dave kane (bass), and andrew plummer himself (vocals, electric guitar). plus several guests. all of them are fantastic musicians playing with an irresistible enthusiasm. listening to this musically very convincing record is an breathtaking and exhausting experience that I can strongly advise you." (third one rises album review modesti, sep 09)

"having had my head buried under an avalanche of americana records for the past few years has led to my critical reactions becoming jaded, having to try not to trot out the same old clichés about the same old clichés, it takes a record like this to shake me out of that torpor.

it quite unashamedly assaults the listener with a gale of dissonance and an attitude that’s like being bitch-slapped by a polar bear. the opener ‘one yard bard’ just launches straight in, it might as well just scream ‘wake up you lazy bastard’ at the listener. it’s been a long time since I saw/listened to something like this, I used to enjoy volcano the bear and this puts me straight back there, happy to be challenged, happy to search for a foothold, happy to work for my pleasure. it’s a place where a collage of free jazz, looney tunes cartoon music, tom waits, sonic youth in their experimental syr ep’s guise and imagination are all normal, essential even.

horn parps and atonal guitar noodling are de rigueur and provide the introduction to ‘third one rises up’, amazingly this coalesces into a song of sorts, imagine fiddler on the roof falling off the roof and landing on the local oompah band. and that’s how most tracks go, a melange of contradictory ideas, delicious portions of skronk and a drunken uncle impersonating tom waits shouting over the top. horns make noises that the manufacturers won’t have designed them for, sonny sharrock is practicing in the corner of the room, and napalm death have left their vocal exercise tape in the piano bench. it takes the form of a tango in ‘nine tango fuck’, some operatic singing on ‘land of lather leather’ over some desperately scribbled strings give way to brass that throws notes out like meerkats twitching their heads in anticipation of predators.

of course I’ve characterised this an as unremitting assault and it’s not, ‘overhead slow’ skirts around a tune and contains passages of avant cocktail jazz that might prove acceptable to a minority of the populace and ‘fanfare for her’ starts with a fanfare of sorts whilst the drummer samples speed and mogadon as aids to his craft. ‘jazz hell murder ballad’ in addition to having a great title starts very gently, a vocal is caressed by horns singing the wordless song of a neon city, and even though the clarinet and piano start an argument it doesn’t detract from the fascination.

it’s a hell of a lot better than listening to the latest bunch of young men with guitars and no ideas who want to be bob dylan, it is an acquired taste and if you baulk at something like sun ra you’re going to want to get as far away from this as you can." (third one rises album review david cowling, americana-uk sep 09)

"third one rises twists the noble craft of songwriting into a dystopian mindfuck. vocalist and songwriter andrew plummer sounds like the bastard child of phil minton, tom waits and nick cave, and though though his lyrics are obligingly displayed at andrewplummer.co.uk, it would take a bold person to decode precise meanings from his brilliantly inscrutable turns of phrase.

the lyric of the cave-style "jazz hell murder ballad", beginning "a dream of teeth in milk/the lipstick brim bleeding smiles within", is delivered in a gruff, bile-filled vocal subtone, and sits ominously against torch song harmonies. "nine tango fuck" opens with an invitation to "come dance with me", but as plummer hollers that "anguish is the substance that stains the vacant", his menacing strut turns the tango idiom against itself.

plummer wouldn't be the first songwriter to so overstack his lyrics with metaphors-hanging-off-metaphors that meaning is obscured by music. but he creates his music on an equally uncompromised, dense level, enough to convince you that this suffocating overload is the point. his six-piece group, which includes matthew bourne on piano and a cameo from guitarist billy jenkins, play with unhinged determination and appropriate sped-up hysteria. If there's a precedent in british music, mike and kate westbook's dark cabaret pieces might suggest an aesthetic starting point - but plummer's warped vaudeville, always dark turning darker, is something entirely his own." (third one rises album review philip clark, the wire aug 09)

"somewhere between nick cave's organically demented carnival of the damned and mike patton's postmodern avant madness lies andrew plummer's world sanguine report, a coalition of some of the u.k.'s most intellectually celebrated skronk, jazz and contemporary classical practitioners. original? unarguably. listenable? actually … yes, and often much more so than many of plummer's peers. the spastic horns can be slinkily melodic, while the rhythms conjure the vibe of an after-party around a gypsy-caravan campfire … once the psilocybin kicks in. the eerie, creeping piano and tom tom passage in “overhead slow” is positively unnerving; so are the softly overlaid horn lines mixed low under the satanic come-on of “jazz hell murder ballad” … before it turns into a jaunty woodwind nightmare. sure, sometimes the weirdness (and, on “land of lather leather,” the stacked female vocals) can be almost overbearing, and if this album was 40 minutes long instead of 38, well, that might be enough to make your head explode. but plummer's guttural drunken-ringmaster baritone ties everything together, and adds enough of a linear connection to make third one rises an engaging listening experience rather than a schizoid novelty." (portnoy jones, reax aug 09)

"world sanguine report have made an original and innovative record with third one rises (gravid hands grvh002). here be eleven quirky songs, not unlike sea-shanties with surreal imagistic lyrics – a sort of mash-up between the whaling songs of a.l. lloyd and the poetry of guillaume apollinaire. andrew plummer (singer, electric guitar) is the composer of these eleven captain ahab-styled diversions, pitching his earthy tenor voice into the songs with gusto and coming across as a more approachable variant of nick cave (the song ‘jazz hell murder ballad’ is, in title at least, something cave would surely relish). plummer’s ably supported by a crack team of acoustic players who turn in very clear, distinctive performances on these odd arrangements, leaving no space unfilled with many a creak and lopsided rhythm. the abiding impression is of a peg-legged mariner accosting the hapless listener much like the narrator in ‘orange claw hammer’, and the strange woodcut-styled cover artworks of chris odgers fit right in to this schema. very good." (ed pinset, the sound projector jul 09)

"world sanguine report is the brainchild of musical and lyrical madman andrew plummer. upon hearing that plummer is influenced by a gigantic mesh of different artists such as tom waits, mike patton, captain beefheart and conlon nancarrow it becomes clear why ‘third one rises’ is such a bizarre yet colorful musical concoction.

this album is impossible to define on genre terms alone due to it’s vastly changing styles from one song to the next, not to mention it’s bizarre musical style pairings. for example, on the title track you could be forgiven for thinking you were listening to nick cave or tom waits howling over an old school, marching jazz piece. it’s a confusing yet delightful mixture indeed. this is a trend that continues throughout the album. plummer unconventionally and unapologetically slams different genres together with total disregard for the listener, but by god does it pay off." (third one rises album review jack pudwell, subba-culture jul 09)

"also the second album on gravid hands, the new british label specialised in some kind of different music, is optically appealing. the three part digipack is covered by black and white paintings that look like drawings from an old book for children. the gentleman carving figurines on the cover and the writing suggest rather a picture book from victorian times, than the musical adventure the listener has to encounter.

world sanguine report (w.s.r.) is the name of the band, but it is rather the project of one andrew plummer, who has formed a band for his third album. that explains also the title of the CD. though there might be other explanations.

in musical terms the sounds offered here are quite different from the first production of the label. following the free-form electronics of leverton fox the music offered here is much more down-to-earth. quite dissonant is the music anyway. my first thought: tom waits. "one yard bard" offers some kind of deranged, dancelike chamber-rock, that can also be found on the more experimental albums by the american (e.g. "bone machine" and "black rider"). plummer is also singing in a slightly similar way, though not as deep and raspy. but waits is only rarely diverting into really dissonant realms, for w.s.r. it seems to be the rule.

in places rather free mess of sounds is mixed here with jazz, folk, dance tunes, a deranged and blueslike guitar and edged rock tunes. sometimes the sounds float along shapeless and languid and plummer recites his strange lyrics. really bizarre are those moments, when helen evora sings with her amplified voice mimicking a choir, singing maybe sing old english songs or just howling on high pitch, accompanied by the fiercely rocking band ("land of lather leather" and "whip whip"). another comparison one could draw is obviously captain beefheart. even if plummer's voice is not as distorted and rough as the one of don van vliet, there are musical parallels. at least spiritually, the music is related.

"third one rises" offers a quite unique and homogeneous chamber-jazz-punk-blues-avant-rock, slightly inspired by Waits, that stumbles very fresh, crazily and unconstrained out of the speakers. the music is at times quite crazy and dissonant, but those who e.g. like the musical weirdness of the finnish band alamaailman vasarat and can stand a good dose of british humour, should check this album definitely out!"  (translated from german, achim breiling babyblaue third one rises album review jun 09)

"it’s pretty clear from the get go what this is all about. andrew plummer’s anguished howl sits uneasily with the syncopated and off kilter jazz in a style that cannot help but evoke memories of tom waits. but whilst tom has perhaps mellowed somewhat with age andrew seems to still be full of spit and bile. his songs are often personal where tom’s are abstract, violent rather than considered. the music ranges from gentle, smoky barroom jazz to a cacophony of strings, horns and percussion seemingly barely even related to one another.

by no means does this make for easy listening - in fact initially (again like tom waits) it can seem almost impenetrable, a wall of noise with no apparent chink for entrance. but repeated and closer listens will reveal myriad ways in - be it plummer’s guttural growl, a double bass line or a clarinet. like all truly great records it rewards the listener who is willing and able to persevere. a record this ambitious succeeds or fails on the strength of its players. fortunately, the musicians on 'third one rises' are more than up to the challenge.

apart from the obvious tom waits comparison, there is another parallel to be made with murder by death. if murder by death had come from a jazz rather than punk background, they could well have produced something vaguely akin to this. as it is, world sanguine report have given us something truly special, that deserves to be heard." (third one rises album review will slater, die shellsuit die jun 2009)

"third one rises sounds like a hangover: a queasy, stumbling, tortured cry of remorse and desperation. and in the hands of vocalist, lyricist and composer andrew plummer, that turns out to be a very good thing. here he assembles some of the top players from the london and leeds scenes to help him present his warped vision of faded ballrooms, ghostly choirs, mournful dance orchestras, creeping murder, late night saloons and flesh wounds. although ostensibly an album of songs - with more than a nod to the weary, metaphysical bar room wisdom of tom waits - plummer's arrangements take old-fashioned foxtrots and ballads and derail them with unsettling, sinister glee, while the high-calibre band injects a hysterical dose of genuinely 'out' free-jazz. and riding over the top of it all is plummer's remarkable baritone voice: by turns rough and growling, oleaginous and oozing, deranged and threatening. a startling and stunning debut." (third one rises album review dan spicer, jazzwise apr 2009)

"the honey-and-razor-blades voiced singer/composer: andrew plummer's world sanguine report are a multi-headed beast of a band, boasting some of the freshest new talent on the uk scene including fraud's james allsopp, trumpeter alex bonney, the supremely deranged virtuosity of pianist matthew bourne and leeds bassist dave kane. they all join together on plummer's heartrendering wonky pieces, that sound part new orleans brass band part mr bungle to spellbinding tragic-comic effect." (preview mike flynn jazzwise mar 2009)

"cack your bloody pants to baleful and bleak compositions so completely foreboding they sound as if they could've been hacked into being on the butchers slab. gruff vocalist andrew plummer revels and writhes in the macabre as he heads this seven-piece ensemble through the murk and mire for a vaudevillian romp with barks, grunts, wails and shrieks to set your hairs on end. a style akin to the likes of waits or cave at their most surreal and bloodthirsty, backed by the austere configurations of scelsi, messiaen or zorn. featuring top notch players, world sanguine report is a fantatastically warped waltz into the dark on the most upsetting episode of 'strictly come dancing' there has ever been. hope for rain." (preview stench of muscle jan 2009)

"plummer's world sanguine report plays english folk music burnished by a simmering resentment and a toxic malaise. plummer's sonorous vocals and brooding performance captured all the despondency and antagonism of the most disaffected and alienated elements of western counter-culture. matthew bourne on fender rhodes struck a path somewhere between sun-ra and keith jarrett, while trumpeter, alex bonney contributed with regal, engaging melodies that betrayed both latin and british folk influences." (vortex live review dec 2008)

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