I'm often asked where I got my love of music from. Fortunately, I had Parents who influenced me as I know many more had to put up with James Last and Mantovani. I was raised on Buddy Holly and The Beatles, with a liberal dose of Hank Williams.
But most influences come when you started to buy music under your own steam. With 70's kids, particularly boys, everyone bought singles and I was incredibly lucky to have Glam Rock to start with as a nine year old.
My collecting got more serious when I started to buy albums and Glam Rock was never really about albums. But that two year period between 1972 and 1974 was such fun. Bands dressed up, were outrageous in a cartoon way and of course it was your music, Parents hated it.
Few bands have mastered evoking those times without looking like a bad parody. The Darkness, although they nodded to the Big Hair Rock of the 80's. Ulysses, certainly at times, although there is far more to them that. Now you can add Creem Circus and they are star spangled Glam or Glitter if you live in the States, which they do.
Creem Circus are the brainchild of Chris DiPinto, owner of DiPinto Guitars in Fishtown, Philadelphia. Away from the day job of building Guitars, the album was fashioned in the shop basement. The quartet which consists of DiPinto, Ben Brower, Gloria Goodrich and Rock Bottom Rob offer up a glorious glamtastic affair, hand claps and all.
The thing about most of the original Glam Rock bands is that the playing wasn't so adept, certainly not as adept as these four and this technical ability enhances the enjoyment. This isn't throwaway stuff or satire, this is top quality listening.
There is an underlying tongue in cheek wit that gets right under the skin of the period. Yes it is all fun, but the songs stand up really well in their own right, plus you can spot the influences. The Drum sound, those hand claps, the call and respond and those fantastic twin guitars.
La Machine is like one of those rockier Sweet B Sides, Rock And Roll Party is Marc Bolan backed by The Glitter Band. Pretty Rebel is a chirpy Lou Reed Transformer era, Come On Laddie could be Suzi Quatro if it were not for the Male Vocal.
Allegehny Bvm could be The Steve Gibbons Band with a Chinn And Chapman chorus. Automatic Style is T Rex until some splendid Blistering Guitar at the end. Those Shoes starts like Mud, again definitely Chinn Chapman.
As well as attempting a Tyrannosaurus Rex length album title, Creem Circus have nailed the peiod without ever sounding derivative. The album is a reminder of a time when people bought music when it didn't matter what was going on in the world, because you had your music. Sadly now, music doesn't sell, it is largely given away and the songs reflect the outside world.
This is a magnificent departure from the norm, providing the benefits that music should have. It should be enjoyable. It should be sing a long. It should be fun. Creem Circus caught me by surprise and I'm grateful that they did. Everything seems fine now, so well done you four. This is a revelation and an essential purchase.
You can listen to and buy the album everywhere. It is also available on CD or Vinyl from the likes of Amazon and more importantly, great independent record shops.