Pigsty Hill Light Orchestra

Pigsty Hill Light Orchestra

Infobox musical artist

Name = Pigsty Hill Light Orchestra
Background = Jazz/folk/humour
Origin = Flag|England
Genre = Jazz, Folk, Humour
Years_active = 1968 to 1979, 1988 to 1992
Label = The Village Thing
The Pigsty Hill Light Orchestra (or PHLO) were an eccentric band of British musicians who joined together in early 1968 to play a fusion of comedy, jazz, and folk music, in a unique style which has been compared with the Temperance Seven and the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. Many of the songs performed dated from the 1920s or 1930s. Other influences included music-hall, blues and jug band music. Their eccentricity was not due to their characters and choice of music alone, but to an eclectic mix of instruments, some of them home-made, such as the "egg-cupaphone" and the "ballcockaphone", which was a wind instrument in which the supply of air to the reed was controlled by toilet cistern chain connected to a ballcock! The "Piggies" (as they were affectionally known), derived their unusual name from a location in Bristol - the section of Gloucester Road between the old Bristol North swimming baths and the Horfield prison turning. They are now considered to be an example of the so-called scrumpy and western musical genre.

Based in the Bristol area, the band originally comprised Barry Back, Dave "the crutch" Creech, Andy Leggett and John Turner. They are reputed to have got together after meeting at a new year's eve party organised by Fred Wedlock at the Troubadour Club in Clifton, Bristol. They later provided backing for Wedlock on his album, "The Folker". Turner was previously in a group called the "Downsiders", Back and Leggett in the "Alligator Jug Thumpers", and Creech in the "Elastic Band". They quickly built up a strong local following and were soon playing gigs around the country. Their first album, "The Pigsty Hill Light Orchestra Presents" (abbreviated as "PHLOP!") was the first release on The Village Thing label in 1970. They were joined on this album by Julie Bridson and Ian Hunt. John Turner left the band after this album and Bill Cole took his place as the fourth member of the band for their second album, "Piggery Jokery", also on The Village Thing, in 1971. This album featured an early Rodney Matthews cover, and was recorded in front of an audience in Cornwall, resulting in a much more authentic recreation of their stage act. Barry Back then left, being replaced by Jon "Wash" Hays; Andy Leggett left soon afterwards, leaving Dave Creech the only survivor of the original line-up. Various personnel came and went; Dave Paskett, Richie Gould, Pat Small and Henry Davies, plus guitarists Chris Newman and Robert Greenfield came on board plus, occasionally, the renowned guitarist Diz Disley, all of whom appeared on the next album, "The Pigsty Hill Light Orchestra", in 1976. The album received good reviews, including this one from the Melody Maker: "The Pigsty Hill Light Orchestra must be one of the most popular acts on the folk scene. Their spontaneous humour and good time songs have held many an audience anchored to the floor in wonder."

Despite continuing popularity, the band decided to "call it a day" in 1979 but, in 1988, reformed for the Trowbridge "Village Pump" Folk Festival, after which Pat Small and singer Hannah Wedlock (Fred's daughter) joined the line-up and they began touring again. In 1991 they produced another album, "Back on the Road Again" and, in the same year, Jim Reynolds and Dave Griffiths joined the band. The following year, "Musical History", a compilation album consisting of a selection of tracks taken from 1968 to 1992, was released. Barry Back, who had been the driving force behind the "Piggies" reunion, sadly died in 1992 and, shortly after, the band decided to pack up for good.


"The Pigsty Hill Light Orchestra Presents (PHLOP!) (12" vinyl album)"
The Village Thing VTS 1 (1970) tracks:
# Cushion Foot Stomp
# Funny Side of the Street
# Silk Pyjamas
# Company Policy
# On Sunday
# Second Fiddle
# T'aint No Sin
# Sleepy Time Blues
# My Pet
# Nothing Else Will Do Babe
# Sporting Life Blues
# Men of Harlech

"Piggery Jokery (12" vinyl album)"
The Village Thing VTS 8 (1971) tracks:
# Sadie Green
# Motorway Song
# High Society
# The Wiltshire Plumbers Saga
# Sweet Miss Emmaline
# Let Your Linen Hang Low
# Basin Street Blues
# Meet Me Where They Play the Blues
# Desperate Dan
# The Silly Organ Story
# Shim Sham Shimmy
# Royal Garden Blues

"Us (12" vinyl album, various artists)"
The Village Thing VT-SAM 15 (1972):
# Sweet Miss Emmaline (from Piggery Jokery)Also includes tracks by Dave Evans, Tight Like That, Wizz Jones,Fred Wedlock, Steve Tilston, Ian A. Anderson, Tucker Zimmerman,Sun Also Rises and Hunt and Turner

"The Pigsty Hill Light Orchestra (12" vinyl album)"
UK private pressing PHLO-001 (1976) tracks:
# High Society
# Buddy Not A Sweetheart
# Coney Island
# Jazzbo Green
# Everybody's Making It Big
# Motorway
# You're Always Welcome
# Five Foot Two
# Short Of The Line
# D.I.V.O.R.C.E.
# Taking My Oyster For Walkies
# Roland The Roadie

"Back on the Road Again (12" vinyl album)"
label details to be confirmed (1991) tracks:
# tracks to be confirmed

"Musical History (12" vinyl album)"
label details to be confirmed (1992) tracks:
# tracks to be confirmed


* [http://www.gertlushonline.co.uk/sounds-of-1960s--1.html The Changing Face of Bristol & its People - The Sounds of the Sixties]
* [http://www.scrumpyandwestern.co.uk/ Scrumpy & Western website]
* [http://www.vinylattic.com/discography/saydisc/villagething.html Vinyl Attic]
* [http://www.andyleggett.com/de/discography.html Andy Leggett discography]

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