Chop Up The Voluntary Butler Scheme!!!
Mr Jones, of Voluntary Butler Scheme fame, has put all the parts to his smash hits Multiplayer (out 2/3 guys!) and Tabasco Sole
(coming out in May time) up online for any of you remix types to grab hold, chuck in a bag, shake around and then spill out.
So what do u reckon?
We will put the best one's on www.myspace.com/theVBSchopshop for comments from the general public etc. Mr Jones will then pick
his winner which will go onto a special CD with the original version plus b-sides etc which the winner
will receive in a jiffy or equivalent. Wowsa indeed!
Get the bits and pieces using the links below. When you're done email a usendit
(or equivalent) link to VBSchopped@Splitrecords.co.uk and then leave it up to us.
Download the remix parts here.
Tobasco Sole Remix parts (.zip) (202MB)
Multiplayer Remix (.zip) (259MB)
The Voluntary Butler Scheme
New single - Multiplayer
Label: Split Records
"Love is a game, a game for two/Love is a game I wanna play with you" - 'Multiplayer'
The Voluntary Butler Scheme is, to all intents and purposes, Rob Jones - a young man holed up in Stourbridge just outside Birmingham, writing pop songs of classic sound, vivid imagination and homemade ingenuity.
A couple of years ago, Rob filled the days surfing drum stools, playing for a string of bands and relishing the low-expectations life of a jobbing musician. But then, the offer of a solo gig came up. "So I wrote four or five songs, and played the show," he explains. And? "And it wasn't all that," he laughs. "But straight away, I knew I didn't want to play stuff with bands anymore. So I thought I'd try a little bit harder and write some proper songs - and I wrote a dozen songs in a couple of weeks."
And the songs were good. Great, in fact. Take 'Trading Things In'. A lush '60s pop frolic rich with overlapping harmonies, dewy-eyed romance, and references to - amongst other things - broccoli, running shoes, and popular hits of the '50s, it's an excellent advert for the merits of singing what you know. "It's got a lyric that goes "yes we can listen to La Bamba on your mp3 player'" says Rob. "Cos 'La Bamba', that's one of my favourite songs of all time. I don't even know what the guy's singing about, but you know, it really doesn't matter. The way he sings it - it just breaks your heart. And I remember thinking, oh, I can probably just talk about whatever I've been up to that day and it'll work."
So, with such casual ambitions - plus a treasure chest of guitars, keyboards, kick drum and loop pedals - the first incarnation of the Voluntary Butler Scheme was born. Tours with the likes of The Duke Special and Joe Lean And The Jing Jang Jong saw Rob hone his craft as a one-man band - a line-up that suits him just fine, thank you very much. But as of late 2008, the Voluntary Butler Scheme is touring filled out to a three-piece - hello, Damo on drums; hi John, on keys - to cater for a new clutch of songs that need more than one pair of hands.
Take 'Multiplayer'. Cantering out the traps with its 'Ticket To Ride' stomp, effervescently perky Northern soul riff, and opening gambit of "I'm gonna get my hair cut even if I have to cut it myself.", it throws up numerous comparisons, from witty British songwriting staples like Supergrass to more contemporary bedsit raconteurs like The Wave Pictures. But comparisons be damned: there's an lyrical ingenuity here that's all Rob's own. "A lot of my lyrics kind of come close to novelty, but I don't think they come across that way," ponders Rob. "Like, the line 'Don't go treating my heart like bagpipes any more' - they're kind of funny lyrics, but you'd never want to laugh at them, I think they're a bit sadder than that."
Sad, maybe, most importantly, something we can all relate to. Because the Voluntary Butler Scheme knows life's most beautiful moments aren't carefully scripted - they jump at you right off the woodwork. So what's the secret? "I think it's about not trying too hard," says Rob. "You know, I read something Phil Spector said in some sound magazine, about the recording of 'Be My Baby', and asking, 'Is it dumb enough? Are people gonna get it?' I'm not trying to make it dumb, but there's something in that - stuff feels more so much more honest when it's simple."