The Filthy Spectacula – Thrup’ny Upright: Introduction
The Filthy Spectacula describe themselves as a UK based band mixing gypsy punk, dark cabaret, goth, ska and pirate shanties. Their first album, Thrup’ny Upright, is a 13 track album covering the darker elements of England’s history – both fictional and factual – from Vampires to Jack the Ripper. You can download the album for just £8.00 from their album or as a CD for £10 here: Album download link
The Filthy Spectacula – Thrup’ny Upright: Features
I always get excited at hearing a new album as I’m never quite sure how it will sound. That excitement can be doubled when I’m hearing a band for the first time. So when Thrup’ny Upright landed on my desk, I eagerly popped it into my computer to listen to.
The Filthy Spectacula are a four piece band comprising of Mr E (Lead Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica and Absinthe), The Riddler (Violin, Viola, Keyboards, Backing Vocals and Rum), The Dreadful Helmsman (Bass, Backing Vocals and Cider) and Lord Harold (Drums and Gin).
Looking at the tracks and cover art, seemingly the band have poured their interests and influences into the album. The pages are littered with imagery from history and accompany fictional tales of piracy, horror and excessive drinking.
What I was first confronted with was like an opening to a carnival with hints of Greek folk music. The song is a bouncing, jumping introduction to the album and conjures images of parties with family and friends.
While Jack the Knife takes a darker turn in the lyrics, the song is surprisingly up tempo which clashes in a way that it makes you feel a little uncomfortable, which is perfect for a song like that.
After slowing down for track five to reflect the dark broodiness of Crows and their penchant for stripping meat off of bones, the music picks up the pace and then remains relatively lively to the end.
The Filthy Spectacula – Thrup’ny Upright: Conclusion
The World Famous Extravanganza is great introductory song for the album, full of energy to get you up and dancing. I really like the story of Jack the Knife “playing with his blades again”; it has a catchy melody.
Elements of genres linked to the songs they’re singing are notable, such as the Russian style of the Drinkski song and the pirate shanty themes of Flying Dutchman.
Initially sounding like a crudely made playlist, the songs are actually well produced with a fine balance of instruments. I like the inclusion of the violins; I like to hear classical instruments integrated in modern music.
Lead Vocalist Mr. E has a rough and gritty voice that can easily be soft as well as shout obscenities at us.
Thrup’ny Upright is a rowdy, raucous affair and is a thoroughly enjoyable album to listen to. There’s a running theme of an appreciation for alcohol throughout the album. From The Drinkski Song, to the list of what each band member can be found on (usually limited to an instrument) including their favourite tipple.
The lyrics are intelligent and the songs have a nice range of tempos actually within them. That wouldn’t be out of place on a cult film soundtrack. My only real criticism is of the swearing at the end. This could be an album to play at a family gathering. At a party with children present. the swearing would ruin it, which would be a shame.
If you like lively music to dance and drink to, Thrup’ny Upright will be right up your street.