CQB live up to their name with their music, which for much of the time defies any ready description (and appropriately, you never know quite what to make
of it either). CQB is childlike rather than childish, I would say; in its sense of adventure. The music of CQB is infectious and generously fun
(albeit not without
serious intent) on this fulsome extended (77-minute) procession of pithy original songwriting. It takes us almost effortlessly from Schitzaphroid, a
peculiarly insistent little 12-bar essay with unfathomable refrain, through to the throwaway pop of Monastery; from the endearing, "borderline cheesy"
uke-fuelled Song From The Heart to the strumalong Finger Snapping; from the snappy marching kids' game 2x2 to the melting, warped reminiscence Holidays
In The Sun and the cheeky referential All In This Together…
This latest CQB offering meanders purposefully across the clock-face, treading enigmatically, and perhaps a trifle surreally, through quirky, slightly
absurd personal musings, at times (songs like Pulling Her Hair Out) heavily espousing the Brit-pop slice-of-life observational social commentary and at
others celebrating "the ordinariness of idiocy" by residing more in indie-dom territory or obscure variant-freakout mode. But, as always with music from
a typically English, quietly reclusive backwater, invariably having something interesting to say…
I like the philosophy behind Midfielder. Accept that lack of radio play may have impacted on your previous album sales -
as well as not making you a household name. Stick ten tracks from those albums on a sampler and release it on a cost recovery basis.
It's a bold move and one that I hope is rewarded.
If you are an altruist with an itching for some melodic Brit pop "with a twist of lemon", head on over to the MySpace page for Crazy Quilt Bouquet.
CQB is the band name of self-confessed musicholic Robin Cowpertwait. Robin's current offering is a 15 track (nearly 70 minute) opus called
"Hope So"...and he's done this one for charity. The deal is that the CQB CD sells for only £3, and a minimum of £1 from each sale goes to
Oxfam. It is a small price to pay for this nice collection of Brit pop. It is a bit lo-fi, but the songwriting is solid and delightfully different with smart,
quirky lyrics ("when she mentioned kids, there was a pregnant pause"). Standout tracks for me include the very groovy "Lucky" and "War Zone".
There is a bit of Aztec Camera, Connells, and even Morrissey imbuing these tunes. If you have enjoyed Garfield's Birthday or The Brigadier,
you should check out Robin's Crazy Quilt Bouquet.
The rather quaintly and unusually named Crazy Quilt Bouquet is actually British musicoholic Robin Cowpertwait. A bit of a musical DIY machine really; every single thing here is down to the 'main' man, everything!
For ease I'll refer to the artist as simply CQB - CQB isn't just Mister Competence, oh, no, CQB appears to be somewhat of a philanthropic concern; willing to share his poptastic work with anyone and everyone but more than happy to just cover his costs and prepared to donate large percentages of his musical 'income' to charity. Now you can't say that about many musical 'acts', especially of the 'unsigned' variety. So, well done that man! And, well done also for being a complete, bordering on clinically insane, music-head. For CQB just think 00's Jonathan King; you know, that kind of infectious and slightly absurd pop music that only we Brits seem able to come up with. Now, I don't mean that to sound bad but, CQB is definitely sitting somewhere within that 'cast your cares to the winds' pop, that 'let's not take this too seriously' pop, that sort of self-deprecating pop that always has its heart in these fair Isles of ours.
There's nothing to get all worked up about with CQB's music - well, nothing that challenges, nothing that sets the nerves jangling. Oh no, CQB's music is pure unadulterated, flowery, sugary pop. But, this guy, this musician, this band, this act completely exudes musical frivolity, not trite crap but educated observational, social commentary type pop. CQB seems to have lots to say in his music and he sure knows how to make his sweet poetry into syrupy pop music. CQB makes charming pop music, pop music that comes straight from the man's heart, straight as an arrow, aimed straight at listener's pop-jugular!
I've noticed a few 'borrowed' riffs and fills here and there and they really made me smile and actually, that's what this whole album has made me do now I come to think of it; this is a good, long chunk of music that comes in at about sixty-eight minutes and I've only just realised that I've been sitting with a smile on my face throughout all of it. There are some crackingly funny and some real soppy lyrics flying around in these songs - it's all perfectly charming and such bloody good fun - don't take it too seriously, just take it in the spirit it's given and enjoy the 'music' for exactly what it is - a bit of well meant respite from the overly taxing and all too serious assemblages out there!!
'Hope So' by Crazy Quilt Bouquet is pure pop escapism, a finely blended chunk of musical 'seaside rock' (that's 'rock' as in a long, sweet, sugary stick of confection of circular section rather than 'rock' as in 'music'!) Crazy Quilt Bouquet aka Robin Cowpertwait has done a fantastic DIY job here - the man's sure got talent and can turn his hand to just about anything musical. 'Hope So' by Crazy Quilt Bouquet is wonderfully conceived, lovingly assembled and tenderly crafted and a real piece of Brit-pop of the highest order!
Hope So' isn't gonna be for everyone but if you're partial to typically British, cheerful and uplifting pop music then you'll love 'Hope So'. However, if you want to be challenged and/or confronted musically, 'Hope So' may just be a tad too popsicle for you. I'm still smiling, I'm still entertained - it's all too sweet for me but I just can't help bloody well lovin' it!!
Lead Bouquet-er Robin Cowpertwait crafts the kind of clever, catchy tunes that are rarely heard anymore.
Like a wonderful mix of XTC, Robyn Hitchcock and Al Stewart, you'll find yourself tapping your foot and laughing
at the lyrics all at once. One song on the album, [CQB 2005] "Big Man", is simply one of the best songs you will ever hear by anyone.
It's a perfect microcosm of CQB - great melody, overlapping harmonies, and hilarious lyrics.
Midfielder: Mildly eccentric indie ensemble CRAZY QUILT BOUQUET have the decency to maintain a sense of self-mocking innocence on this 11-track self-released
offering. Lots of cultural references, lots of simple-savant titles - '(I've Got) A Woolly Hat', 'I Like You (You're Nice)' - and plenty of inventive, tidily written tunes
that cover all bases from spiky rock to percussive mantra to quaintly English folk-pop. None of it is going to worry the Top 100 anytime this century
but CQB are one of those bands who probably storm the second stage at cute non-mainstream festivals full of unblinkered music fans in decidedly
hope so: Crazy Quilt Bouquet is a mature-minded fellow who, rather than get caught up with the machinations of a money-grubbing industry,
is content to send out CDs worldwide to whoever requests them, not for profit, not for acclaim, just because. His latest offering, ‘Hope So’, is a curious album
which veers from Robyn Hitchcock – esque reflection to acoustic whimsy, with some cute lyrical nuggets throughout. A third of the proceeds from sales will be
donated to Oxfam. His modest status in the scheme of things may mean that this won’t add up to much but, in this instance, that really isn’t the point.