BABY TUCKOO ‘First Born’ (Ultra Noise ULTRA 2) Review by Geoff Barton April 1984
Taking their name from a phrase in James Joyce’s ‘Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man’ (arty, huh?) the Tuckoo have produced a barnstormin’ blockbuster of an album, similar in swirling sound and sensational spirit to Uriah Heep’s last two classic LPs, ‘Abominog’ and ‘Head First’.
With raucous ‘n’ raunchy production work from John Verity immense vocals from Rob Armitage (he sounds like a Kop full of Coverdales!) and cunning keyboard fills from ex-Geddes Axe man Andy Barrott. Bradford-based Baby T- concoct a brutally commercial potion that’s positively, powerfully addictive.
From the solar flare scorchin’ ‘Hot Wheels’, through the massive, brooding ballad ‘Broken Heart’, to the riotous cover of Tommy James And The Shondells ‘Mony Mony’ (a recent single), Baby Tuckoo’s intelligent-yet-uncompromising rock will surely bring ’em a great deal of glory.
KERRANG! ISSUE 79 October 1984
BABY TUCKOO: Dingwalls London
THEY MAY not be the best looking bunch (head) banging on the door to Metallic solvency, but they sure do offer a tough and rugged belt ‘n braces sound to match their animalesque visual appeal.
The set, as expected, is mostly made up of material from their debut ‘First Born’ album with a few classy new songs added to act as a taster for the next LP. ‘Baby’s Rockin’ Tonight’, ‘Things (Ain’t What They Seem)’ and ‘Rollin’ On’ led the field by a ludicrous length.
The latter is exceptionally impressive, perfectly showcasing the gargantuan vocal capacity of Rob Armitage, who has a voice that blends the volume of Coverdale, the phrasing of Van Morrison and the lunacy of Joe Cocker. This man has to be heard to be believed; he really is that good!
The killer in the pack, however, is the brooding ‘Broken Heart’; set ablaze by the bass and drum partnership of Paul Smith and Tony Sugden, the song builds steadily to a rousing and riotous chorus where Andy Barrott’s swirling keyboards vibrate beneath Armitage’s remarkable hookline.
However, there is a slight drawback. Armitage may possess one of the most effective voices presently in circulation, but his superiority is totally spent between numbers. Offering nervous drivel might go down a treat in the local ‘Wheel Toppers
And Shunters Social Club’ but at Dingwalls it sounded just plain irritating. A shade more professionalism would work wonders.
Advancing slowly at the moment, Baby Tuckoo will, I’m sure, become major contenders.