The goodtime madcap sound of jugband music enjoyed something of a brief revival in the early 1970's, the most talented and successful exponents being UK act Mungo Jerry, whose hit "In The Summertime" triggered a brief wave of similar-sounding singles from other acts ("Seaside Shuffle" by Terry Dactyl & The Dinosaurs, "The Pushbike Song" by The Mixtures, and "When I'm Dead And Gone" by McGuinness Flint).
The music was invariably good-humoured and cheery, and typically featured traditional jugband instrumentation ... jugs (of course), washboards, banjos, spoons, kazoos, and tea-chest bass, along with conventional rock instruments.
Though they were a strictly local phenomenon, unheard of outside their homeland, the 'Bulldogs' were New Zealand's very own emissaries for this brief musical fad, and their full band name could be viewed as a kind of homage to the UK's wacky Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, who in some ways could be considered the inspirational godfathers behind the whole jugband revival.
All the characteristics of good jugband music are on display here ... the instrumentation (though only a little in the way of actual jug blowing!), the zany lyrical themes, and a general air of bonhomie that this kind of music was intended to generate.
The material on this - the Bulldogs only album - is pretty consistent throughout, hovering around the 4 star mark, and mostly made up of original compositions, except for a version of Loudon Wainwright III's "Dead Skunk", and "Ruby Baby" by Lieber & Stoller.
The Bulldogs best-loved song though is the 5 star "Miss September", written by band associate John Donoghue, being an amusing ditty about the singer's futile infatuation with a Playboy centrefold girl, and the track captures the essence of the band's music and zany lyrics (as in the tongue-twisting a noise annoys an oyster
!). Also included here is their one other hit "Everyone Knows".
The Bulldogs time in the sun was brief - much like the jugband revival itself - but it sounds like it was a lot of fun while it lasted! Rated:
by Reviewer: bluemoon