“Sir Henry Wood had little patience with thirsty musicians who claimed they got stuck in the local pub, The George.
“Stuck?” he used to ask incredulously. And, in a fit of sharp pique and exasperation, he sarcastically re-named The George, ‘The Gluepot’.
Ever since, the popular nickname - apocryphal or not - has fondly become a distinctive part Britain’s artistic mythology. And why not? As they used to say on Fleet Street in the old days: “Why let the facts get in the way of a good story?”
Hence the title of this wonderful chirpy release which features many notable artistic people who were seduced or inspired by the creature-comforts of this London hostelry. This charming collection of 21 songs by 12 composers sparkles with all the effervescence of a newly-poured glass of champagne!
It’s a cocktail of winners, you might conclude. Urgh, sorry no pun intended!
Over the years professional artists have unsurprisingly found themselves endeared to The George. Still standing proudly on the London corner of Great Portland Street and Mortimer Street, the George pub is almost a living monument to those years when (apparently) it served as a watering-hole of many notable British artists – composers, poets, producers and artists alike.
This contrasting collection of 20 songs maybe skillfully conceived of drafted here and now lucratively shaped and recorded in All Hallows Church, Gospel Oak on the Somm label needs no quirky histrionics to win new friends. The talent on display makes erudite and fascinating listening in its own right.
The deeply moving Verses of Love from Elisabeth Lutyens (1906-1983) is bound to melt the heart strings with some beautifully poised and intricate lacework while, in sharp contrast, the more earthy and optimistic, Songs of Springtime, from the enigmatic Ernest Moeran movingly sings out the praises of our seasons. Great song-writing names appear to make up a sparkling 75-minute collection.
Warlock, Rawsthorne, Ireland, Delius, Bush, Walton and Bax all join the intoxicating Gluepot medley, well captured in crystal-clear sound. Not a slur in sight. Brilliantly crafted tunes, lovely lyrics nostalgically sung by the Londinium chamber choir and directed by a stone-cold sober Andrew Griffiths.
An outstanding song collection, indeed. Cheers!”
Chris Bye, British Music Society (January 2019)