This is where, following the well-worn path of the struggling, forever ‘up and coming’ musician, I tell you all about myself, my story, my music and why you should spare a moment of precious time to listen to it. I might do this in the third person to make it sound less of an ego trip, or ideally I might recycle a quote from someone else, who probably recycled my own words in the first place, a little like this:
“JULIAN GASKELL looks and sounds like he’s been plucked in wild full flow from an eastern European gypsy encampment in another century – a tumbledown world of punk accordion, surf klezmer, speak-easy ragtime, intellectual drinking and protest songs, romantic piano torch ballads, sweet musette waltzes, weeping country laments, violent tangos and stomping balkan skiffle beats. Singer and songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and nomadic one-man-garage-orchestra Julian Gaskell howls and hollers his way through a global cacophony, leaping from cockney cowboy drawling to barely uttered murmurs of eloquent discontent, all delivered with a sharp, lyrical edge. His recent album Kind words from home is a home-grown tour-de-force of musical and lyrical recklessness, a wall-of-thrift sound, a moreish, richly narrative and evocative concoction” (Western Morning News). Having honed his craft with his proto-punk-folk bands “Icons of Poundland” and “Julian Gaskell & his Ragged Trousered Philanthropists” and toured the world playing piano and accordion for ‘Bash Street’ and ‘Rogue’ theatres, Julian is now based in Penryn, Cornwall where he is continually refining the ‘wall of thrift’ sound and occassionally ventures out to gig either solo or with his band.
I could follow this with a selection of press quotes.
“declamatory, vulpine vocals ranting and roaring his splendidly acrid, protestful lyrics… Victor Meldrew meets Cap’n Jack Sparrow over a glorious, urgent ramshackle garage blend of Balkan-Klezmerisms and French cafebilly… few things this exhilarating come along very often, the antidote to tweefolk” – fRoots
“punk-folk, gypsy Balkan traditional, sea-shanties, Franco-dirty tangos, ragtime piano, and slow laments somehow get together to create an anarchic vaudevillian mix which is packed full of energy” – Bright Young Folk
“Julian Gaskell howls and hollers as if Tom Waits came from a Roma family and punk had its origins in cabaret and circus” – Folkworld “punk influenced mixture of The Clash and The Specials does battle with the more complex pretenders to the Gypsy punk throne ****½” Manchester Music
“a Kernewek Tom Waits, a berserk klezmer band, Joe Strummer gone Weimar jazz or Kurt Weill punching The Pogues” West Briton
And that will have to do for the time being, until I get round to writing my memoirs.
JG Nov 2015