The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS - COR­MAC LARKIN

Sa­lut­ing Sgt Pep­per ★★★★ Edi­tion

Since his emer­gence in the 1980s as the driv­ing cre­ative force be­hind UK big band Loose Tubes, Django Bates has been cheer­fully sub­vert­ing ex­pec­ta­tions, slaugh­ter­ing scared cows and gen­er­ally mak­ing a eu­pho­nious nui­sance of him­self, but he’s re­ally gone and done it this time.

Sgt Pep­per is more than just a col­lec­tion of songs, it’s a cul­tural icon, a unique al­bum whose char­ac­ter is found as much in its the­atri­cal­ity and its in­no­va­tive pro­duc­tion as in its songs. But this salute – with the Frank­furt Ra­dio Big Band and poppy Dan­ish trio Eggs Laid by Tigers – is nei­ther an homage nor a re-imag­inin­ing, but rather a re­dec­o­ra­tion, wrap­ping a much-loved reper­toire in Bates’ Her­meto Pas­coal- and Gil Evans-in­spired em­brace. Weird, wacky and oc­ca­sion­ally won­der­ful. edi­tion­

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