By David M. Beard
The new 14-track collection Queens’ English encompasses all the variety of 1960s British Pop with an array of guest stars to sweeten the listening experience. Joining the group are Spencer Davis, Chad (Stuart) & Jeremy (Clyde), David Carr (The Fortunes, The Ventures), Tony Hicks (The Hollies), The Quarrymen, Richard Moore (The Troggs), Mark Griffiths (The Shadows), Nokie Edwards (The Ventures), Ian Whitcomb and Andrew Loog Oldham.
All told, the hybrid of influential sounds here range from The Byrds, Elvis Costello, Tom Petty, Paul McCartney, The Beatles, Boyce & Hart, The Archies and The Clash.
Standout tracks include: “Hey Love,” “London Underground” (sounding like a stepchild to Paul McCartney’s “Don’t Let It Bring You Down”), “It’s A Bit of Awright,” the Beatles-like “Bitter Grey” (a “Strawberry Fields”/“Penny Lane”/“Flying” mash-up), “Dit Dididit,” “Do” and the melodic “Good Tonight” that fill out the collection with pure pop enjoyment.
The closing track, a surf instrumental titled, “Venture Into the Shadows,” is a nod to The Ventures’ Nokie Edwards and The Shadows’ Mark Griffiths, who share the guitar spotlight on the recording. Queens’ English is a strong tribute to the ’60s British Invasion, and yet another notch in The Malibooz’ eclectic musical belt.