Mustard Allegro are not from California. Perhaps, then, the office blocks, docks and cranes of their native Bristol explain the angular portwards list of their peculiar brand of Surf music. The sense of humour is certainly British: named after an iconically awful 1970s car, and sporting track titles like 'At the Mount of the Chocolate Fountain, At the Fount of the Chocolate Mountain (Hyperdrive!)', the Mustards inhabit a world in which King Crimson write energetic two-minute micro-epics with Joe Meek at the controls, then dash down to the beach, boards in arms, only to find half a mile of mud between them and the Severn Estuary. For fans of Dick Dale, Link Wray, The Ventures, Man Or Astro-Man? and Bambi Molesters as well as those of The Fall, Marc Ribot, Ivory Springer and Slint.
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If Mark E Smith had turned up to that Fall gig in late 2005, history would have been very different. As it was, without a ranting Manc to keep him occupied, Mike got to thinking. He thought up a band, like a surf-rock Fall, like Reverend Horton Heat and Shadowy Men. The world needed to hear that band. By January 2006, he'd recruited three fellow travellers, Taz, Hugh and Alex, and they met to rehearse. After a few sessions, it was decided that Taz wasn't suited to the band (although his solo electronic music is great, and you can hear it here), so that left a core of three. Mike bangs the drums, Maz thumps the bass guitar, Alex twangs his Stratocaster through some serious reverb, and the resulting noise is called Mustard Allegro.
The band recorded a first demo, the Swindon Oasis EP, in a secret location in Clevedon in April 2006. Mark Tanner was the recording engineer, and Hugh mixed the results into the MP3s you can download on our bandcamp page.
In 2009 the band recruted a new bass player; Maz is now stepping into the considerable shoes of Hugh. However, we hope not to have heard the last of Hugh in Mustard Allegro and he can keep adding occasional touches of his splendid musical madness in the future.
That same year marked the recording of Mustard Allegro's debut album Dwarf Shortage a collection of 19 short songs released on a dwarf 8cm CD which is available to buy from Diabetic Horse Records.
At the begining of 2011 Alex left the band.
Following an explosion at a Hawaiian shirt factory, Mike and Maz discovered Dan staggering through central Bristol clutching a Telecaster and refusing to read anything, claiming "It's all guttertrash and lies! Leave me be or you'll feel the cold steel of my swordcane...!".
He has since been strapped to a chair at Mustard Towers R & D dept and instructed to learn the entire Mustard Allegro back catalogue in three hours. As a result, it has been discovered that Dan is a Maestro musician, fluent on all instruments, apart from the guitar, which he is quite rubbish at. He also makes wheezing keyboard noises with Smokehand and digital scraping effluent as Rarg.
Mustard Allegro continue to play live regularly.
Our first record, the Swindon Oasis EP we released in 2006|
Was recorded in two days accross one weekend and featured
the tracks. Great White, Screamer, Sidewinder, Wave Machine
and Theme from Mustard Allegro. It is ment to be a musical
interpretation of the various rides on offer at the Swindon
Oasis Leisure Centre. I don't know how the idea came about
but we went ahead and developed the idea in the first few
months of the band being around.
Hear tracks on... Myspace
Buy the EP from... Diabetic Horse Records
Download the EP for FREE from... Bandcamp
For the christmas of 2006 we wrote and recorded a track called|
Unforeseen Consequences of Global Warming.
The song was available for free download from an online advent
calendar where people could download a song each day.
The track was done with Gonorrhoeas member Mark playing
the Glockenspiel on the track & rahoki doing backing vocals.
This was the first song Alex used his Fender Twin amp on.
The sleigh bells on the song were created by filling a coffie
mug with nuts and bolts and shaking it.
Hugh remixed and recorded new vocals in german with rahoki|
for a track from our Swindon Oasis EP, for a Fundraising CD
for our favourite venue The Junction which was having financial
trouble, the CD simply called Disjunction was released in 2007
contained tracks from various eclectic bands and musicians like...
SJ Esau, North Sea Navigator, Safetyword, Big Joan, Arctic Circle
Hunting Lodge, You & The Atom Bomb, and White Trash Ambition.
On the 24th and 25th February 2007 Mustard Allegro recorded|
again, this time in our new practice space, Morts Practice Emporium.
We laid down seven tracks for what would be The Badgerdebon EP.
On 7th March 2007 Mike and Hugh went to Keynsham to get Max Milton
to record some violin parts for one of the tracks.
On 13th February 2009 Max Milton Records some Violin and Viola parts
For another track for the The Badgerdebon EP.
Badgerdebon has yet to be released.
On the 2nd December 2007 Mustard Allegro record again back at Morts|
Practice Emporium. The Aim is to record another track for the
free online advent calendar as they did last year. They Record
3 songs... Tree, Snowman and Little Fluffy Clouds (an Orb cover)
Mark Antony White Ford records some of the most amazing Sax i have
ever heard it takes him one take without even hearing the tune.
Rabid Pounder mixes the tracks Tree and Snowman. Tree is used for
The calendar as it comes out absolutely bonkers.
Mustard Allegro record Assessment of Submarine Geohazards an SJ Esau|
cover version for SJ Esaus More Touching CD.
The CD was available from American record label Anticon with the first
Hundred or so copies of the SJ Esau Album Small Vessel. We did this session again at Morts Practice Emporium on the 13th April 2008
with Maz playing bass as Hugh is unavailable for the session.
The Track is Mixed and Mastered by Ill Spectre for Ill Spectre Productions.
Alex, Mike & Maz go into a proper recording studio to record the first|
Mustard Allegro Album Dwarf Shortage from 1st-4th September 2009.
We get almost 20 tracks recorded. On the last day the engineer
says to Alex, "You do realise you've produced an absolutely mental album".
The Album is Pressed the following week and available the week after.
The Artwork was done by Alex Bertram-Powell.
The CD was pressed by Hi-Fi Copies.
Hear tracks on... Myspace
Buy the Album from... Diabetic Horse Records
On Saturday 12th September 2010 we go back to the secret location|
where we recorded our first EP and record a song as a wedding gift for
Alex's Sister. We record a surf version of a song made famous by
morecambe and wise called Bring Me Sunshine. We start setting up
equipment at around 7pm and finish sometime after midnight, it was
fairly heavy going recording a track to be used as someones first dance
at there wedding which was in a couple of weeks time but we did it.
It also felt very good to actually make a special gift for our friends.
On Friday 2nd December 2011 we are back where we recorded out 1st|
record the swindon oasis ep. To record our song for the recently
resurrected Madvent Chokalendar the session goes well and we add
glockenspiel & vocals to the usual mix of guitar drums and bass.
We start about 5pm and i am in bed by 1am so we accomplished
a fair bit in a short amount of time. Go to the Calendar and
have a listen to the other tracks by artists from Bristol
Music Scenes Choke collective.