What's the freebie - Brian Pern : a life in rock (3 CD complete box set)
How did I get it? A competition win
The longest gap between my posts thus far. The reason? A bit of ennui, a broken (and now repaired lap top), 3 kids that need the laptop for homework and the fact that I've now watched this complete box set 3 times.
This is by far the funniest thing I have ever won. From start to finish it's a laugh out loud mickey take of the music biz.
At the heart of it is Brian Pern, a parody of a prog legend and an amalgam of many artists, but openly compared to Peter Gabriel.
Brian was the lead singer in 1970s prog rock act Thotch, a band formed at public school (like Genesis) and with a variety of characters that need each other to prolong the legend. The relationship between Pern and guitarist pat Quid (played by Paul Whitehouse) is based on that of Pink Floyd's Gilmour and Waters. Who keyboardist Tony Pebble (played wonderfully by Nigel Havers) is based on I have no idea, but his sex mad quips and carefree approach to life are a highlight.
The core hilarity of the series is how the industry goes along with the fun. Roger Taylor of Queen, Roger Moore, Rick Wakeman, Chrissie Hynde and many, many others appear as themselves in ridiculous set ups, and the true humour is that these aren't set-ups (the lowest type of comedy in my opinion), these are carefully crafted scenes marvellously delivered by musicians in the know. Roger Moore, Martin Freeman, Christopher Eccleston, Vic and Bob and others all appear as outlandish characters. Typical rock events are parodied - charity albums, marriage breakdowns, meeting the kids that Brian walked out on and who want a hand with their own music careers (oh dear Kelly and Jack Osbourne!) as well as an alternative insight into Live Aid where even Noel Edmonds is funny. Yes, even Edmonds is funny in this series!
My own star of the show is Michael Kitchen as demonic manager John Farrow. His foul mouthed and ruthless approach to management is a joy to watch. It's Farrow that keeps Brian in work through the years, and at no detriment to himself.
Fans of comedy and music will love this series. Spot the songs being parodied on Brian's 'Best of' album below.