It sounds like a band. I thought it was a band. It isn’t a band.
The Voluntary Butler Scheme is Rob Jones, a few instruments and a loop station. I saw him perform at the Slaughtered Lamb last week and literally didn’t stop grinning the whole set, particularly as his music was such a startling contrast to the world-hating, droll life-commentary of Superman Revenge Squad who came before (which was also fairly cool).
I know the loop station thing has been done before, probably fairly famously by KT Tunstall on Later With Jools Holland a few years back, but VBS’s “a-ha! it worked!” style of showmanship brought a smile to my face…he was like a kid who’d just witnessed the eruption of the paper maché and baking soda volcano he’d made for a school science project.
Happy, 60s-style, classic pop – the sound reminds me a little of the Beatles, but updated somewhat – that incorporates keyboards, drums, a tambourine, I think I remember a ukulele…and a kazoo.
His new album, “At Breakfast, Dinner, Tea”, was released in early September on Split Records and he’s currently giving away a 4-track EP and a bonus on Music Glue, which can also be reached from his MySpace.
His music displays an innocence and hopefulness that I haven’t heard in a long time: A happy young man, singing happy songs, about happy things…