When I met Ricky Boom-Boom in a pub garden in Cambridge five years ago, he was returning to music after paternity leave. Originally the front man of noughties Cambridge-favourites ‘The Shivers’ and (the then embryonic) ‘Biscuits For Bears’, his recent offering ‘A Rum Old Do’, with guest appearances from slide guitarist Tom Colborn does not disappoint. It is acoustic blues folk at its best. Totally listenable, accessible, thoughtful, colourful.
The four-track EP kicks in with ‘It’s Snowing in Hell’, a foot tapping blues & folk number. Archer’s vocals soar mournfully, yet playfully above the sliding guitar riffs and syncopated acoustic guitar beat. Think The Yardbirds meets John Mayall. ‘Trouble Will Find’ You has a more Tom Petty feel about it. The verse feels like life is positive and heads are above water, before it tumbles into the minor chords of the chorus line. This track ambles thoughtfully between the states of depression and the stained-glass light of the jangle chords. ‘Eyes Of Strangers’ blends modern and old. Varying guitar pitch gives a Connan Mockasin feel. The vocal recording sounds suitably claustrophobic woven in between Colborn’s bright and intricate slide guitar. The middle eight sees Archer’s vocals reach falsetto, which works perfectly. Barbara has a sea shanty/traditional folk style to it. In the mind’s eye, you can see blokes in a dusty pub singing “Barbara”. It’s super catchy and Archer’s rock background really stands out on this particular track.
In all, it’s a beautifully crafted EP and I only wish there were more than four tracks on it. ‘A Rum Old Do’ is released on 17 March through Bandcamp for the small sum of £3, of which 90% will go to the National Autistic Society. So, there, get a treasury of tracks and raise some money for a great cause. Done deal.
Words by Jas Robinson