We gathered in a secret venue in a Sheffield suburb, all Mondrian stylings and uber-hip architectural detailing. Dressed in galactic-hippy chic, glittering and glowing and giggling in anticipation, the followers of Captain Avery & The Cosmic Triceratops Of Intergalactic Peace were clearly ecstatic to be present at this “cosmic party” to celebrate the launch their latest EP.
The band, according to their entry in the book of faces, “formed in a dive bar on a new-born sun in the Tarantula Helix Nebula many thousands of Earth years ago”. Their new four track EP, Apocalypso Now!, is a joyous mangling of Caribbean and European music, sassy sax and fervent drumming, released on Do It Thissen Records. For those who do not speak Sheffieldish, Thissen means “Do it yourself”, a perfect ethos for a band who it seems just want to be free, to do what they want to do (RIP Mr Andy Weatherall).
So what about the EP I hear you say…well…
Space is Tropical, now a single, has a kooky, calypso vibe, all sax-tastic hooks, jolly bounciness and interstellar lyricism.
Dinosaurs on the Moon is full of lovely, happy, shouty bits you can sing along to without knowing any words (and it’s about Dinosaurs on the Moon, so the kids will love it).
It’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever again hear the word “infinite” pronounced in quite the way it is in Earthings of Infinite Love, a gregarious, soca-like song with the best backing vocals since Kid Creole and the Coconuts explained the vagaries of paternity to Annie.
And finally there’s Cosmika Octopus, which starts with a lovely 80’s punk-ish repeated riff, and gets progressively punkier, bassier and yellier, until it descends into madness, then flies out the other side and you feel like you’ve been on a boogie ride to insanity and back. Which is always fun.
Captain Avery & The Cosmic Triceratops Of Intergalactic Peace have managed to distil the essence of contemporary hippiness, post-punk aesthetics and acoustic anarchy into something fundamentally of its place. They are the sound of the Sheffield “lentil belt”, a place of entrepreneurialism, artistic endeavour, wit and self-depreciation, where people know how to pronounce quinoa and happily debate the benefits and ideal strength of Kombucha tea. They truly embrace their status as minstrels of said lentil belt, which probably explains the tubes full of tiny orange pulses I kept finding all over the secret venue.
I believe Captain Avery & The Cosmic Triceratops Of Intergalactic Peace are not trying to be anything except entertaining. They are exactly themselves. They have infinite verisimilitude. And they are bloody good fun.
Review and photography by H J Nicol