Smallcreep's Day, Peter C. Brown, 1964

A novel, written by Peter Currel Brown in 1964. The story is a satire on factory automation; revolving around the character Pinquean Smallcreep.

Day in, day out, Smallcreep works as a slotter. He slots one piece of metal into another ad infinitum. He has no idea what finished product he's creating. One day, however, he decides to find out what he's making; and so begins his journey...

I have no personal experience of this book; but reviews are mixed. Black humour and parody are the dominant features.


Smallcreep's Day, Mike Rutherford, 1980

A concept album, based on the book. It was released in 1980 by Mike Rutherford, famous for his contribution to Genesis and Mike & The Mechanics. It has a combined prog/pop feel; less pop than Phil Collins' solo work, less formulaic than Tony Banks', and less prog than Steve Hackett's - (we won't delve into comparison with Anthony Phillips' Tibetan Yak Music).

From the start, synthesised flowing chord progressions and soft arpeggios are the order of the day; and Rutherford's beloved Moog Torus bass pedals are ever present - and very welcome in my personal opinion. A truly monstrous analogue sound which defies simulation in the digital world.

In addition to the softer tracks, there are faster pieces, with the obligatory guitar and synth twiddles. It is this linking of styles, as well as emerging and recurring themes which gains the 'concept' label.

Tracks:
  1. Between the Tick & the Tock (3:59)
  2. Working in Line (3:07)
  3. After Hours (1:44)
  4. Cats and Rats (In This Neighbourhood) (4:51)
  5. Smallcreep Alone (1:24)
  6. Out Into the Daylight (3:49)
  7. At the End of the Day (5:34)
  8. Moonshine (6:26)
  9. Time and Time Again (4:54)
  10. Romani (5:25)
  11. Every Road (4:14)
  12. Overnight Job (5:44)
Highlights include:
  • Working in Line - One of the two single releases from the album. If you could convert a celtic reel into a progressive-rock track, this would be the result. An unceasing driving rhythm section; along with vocals and soaring guitar solos.

  • Out Into the Daylight - Rutherford proudly shows off his guitar skills, while massive synth pads and drums fill the surrounding space.

  • Time and Time Again - A ballad, similar those of the same era in Genesis. Not particularly strong, but counted amongst highlights because this was the only other track to be chosen for single release.

Credits:

Mike Rutherford: All words and music, guitars, bass.
Simon Phillips: Drums
Anthony Phillips: Guitars
Noel McCalla: Vocals
David Hentschel: Producer

The album was released on vinyl in February 1980, re-released in October 1986, and the CD issue was in June 1989. All have long been deleted.

It's worth a listen if you enjoy early 1980's Genesis, and would like to hear what one third of the influence sounds like, but probably not worth begging, stealing or borrowing for.


Sources:
http://www.smallcreep.com/body1e.htm
http://home.t-online.de/home/Jens.Theysen/mike1.htm
Thanks to Albert Herring for pointing out the existence of the book.

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