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MP3 Diego Brown and the Good Fairy - Fairy Stories

Alternative acoustic Anglo true nightmares

13 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Acoustic, COUNTRY: Modern Country

Brother and sister duo variously described as: "the Carpenters on a lost weekend in Twin Peaks", "Peters and Lea on acid", "The Handsome Family on Prozac", "Richard and Judy with personality". No one has yet compared the White Stripes to us.

He plays: Guitar and shouts
She plays: Accordion, kazoo, theramin, percussion, swannee whistle, autoharp, fiddle, keyboard, guitar, sings
They play: all their own songs
They have released: Fairy Stories - 13 tracks of orginal songs about graffiti, skeletons in the cupboard and taking the kids to karate lessons.
They have published: The Good Book - featuring Mr Shouty and other scary tales observed and set down by Diego Brown and the Good Fairy (paperback)
They have played: Sidmouth International Festival, Threadgills, Austin Texas, Crawley Festival, Towersey, Off the Tracks, Derbyshire, Borderline W1, Blackhorse Festival Hastings, New Pokey Hole Netherseale, Mr Kyps Bournemouth, 12-Bar Club W1, The Weavers N16, Moriarty''s N1, The Red Eye N1, Jacksons Lane Community Centre, Chats Palace E8, Stoke Newington N16 Festival, Kashmir Klub WC1, Electric Lounge Austin Texas etc etc etc
They have played with: Stone Roses, Jimmy Dale Gilmour, Hamell on Trial, John Hegley, Tin Pots, Tiger Lillies, Caste
Radio play: Kershaw on Radio 1. Live spots on Radio 5 Live; Mel & Sue; Lucy Longurst on GLR, Austin Texas local radio.

Most memorable live performance: in the showers of the Youth Hostel where we were staying in Austin Texas - we entertained the other inmates - shiny acoustics and moist atmosphere. Shared several platforms with Hamell on Trial.

Most lucrative gig: Ronnie Scots in a competition, which we won. The prize was a vanload of equipment, which we flogged. We upset the sponsors by asking if their name could be scratched off the van before we took delivery. We sold it to a Rolls Royce dealer who paid cash - and we had to hide the cakes of notes under our coats on the bus home.

Brushes with the famous: Kate met Mohammed Ali when he visited the restaurant she was working in. Adam once followed John Major (former British prime minister) around John Lewis sofa department.

History: Kate spent 6 months on a beach in Santa Barbara. Her friends on the beach presumed her dead when she went missing for a few days - and held a memorial service for her. Kate is an artist from the ''outsider''/''raw'' school. Adam has done many jobs from gardener to editor, painter/ decorator, van driver delivering fake leopardskin furry car seat covers. Hitch-hiking in the US together we were picked up by a John Lennon fan who kept a big gun in his glove compartment and a bottle of whisky by his side. He shot a red light and smashed into another truck. Kate broke the windscreen with her head.

A review, by Andy Farquarson, Get Rhythm

It''s not often one discovers something obscure, new and tantalisingly excellent as Diego Brown and the Good Fairy and their unlikely pot pourri of invention. Kate, small and dressed in a shabby wedding gown bedecked with red plastic flowers ("Red because red roses say so much more / roses of red, lest we should forget"), plays accordion, handheld keyboard, swannee whistle and various percussive thingies. Adam, darkly dapper, whippet-thin, and sometimes sporting a white plastic stetson, is undoubtedly a skilful guitarist though he hides his lights under an FX pedal.

What brought me out to hear them? Trading as The Good Fairy Outfit, the pair have home-produced an album in which a few dodgy moments are more than offset by consistently rewarding music spiked with flashes of genius. Recorded in a little multi-track composing suite, the siblings play everything: bass, drums, guitars, various keyboards, and a range of other barely-identifiable oddities. There is probably a banjo in the mix somewhere but I can''t be sure, especially as Adam revealed that what I took to be a mandolin was "just me playing a guitar to sound like a mando".

The thirteen songs positively drip with references and influences. A vocal fill here ("I can see clearly now the rain has gone" in a piece about a weather man); a lampoon of a clich├ęd power chord there; snatches of top twenty hits one moment, of punk stylisation the next. Despite its arcane facade, this wonderful album exudes a finely-honed pop sensibility. Much of the duo''s self-penned material is as surreal and witty as the Bonzos''. Like Stanshall''s, the lyrics turn the everyday on its head or morph tragedies into grotesqueries. Look Basil, There Goes the Titanic ("chilling out below decks / with loads and loads of ice / while the band played Yellow Submarine / completely out of time") is introduced to the strain of Sailing By.

In Dog in Brownian Motion W5, the scatological imagery of the cleverly tongue-twisting rhymes rivals Ian Dury. Or take Little Creatures: it''s groove, its bassline, and its vocal treatment are what Talking Heads might have produced had David Byrne been raised in Brum on a mixed diet of edgy pop and the Light Program.

Diego/Adam is a gymnastic singer with a surprisingly wide range, strong above the stave while growlily steady in the low-tenor-to-baritone. Kate''s Souxsie-esque punk inflection and chanted mezzo counterpoints are a perfect foil to her brother''s vocal leads. And I assume it is she who bakes the fairy cakes which are handed out to the audience, their little guttering candles to be waved like so many cigarette lighters in a stadium gig''s torch anthem.

With their bizarre stage act, snappy songs, and ears as much attuned to the surreal as to strong narrative, Diego Brown and the Good Fairy are a cult-in-the-making. They certainly deserve to be. I''d pay proper walking-about money for their must-have album.

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