Andrew Green
Choral Guide
January 2012

An absolute riot for cricket fans, this is quite extraordinary collection of cricket music, including a Village Rondo for piano by Matthew Holst, great-grandfather of Gustav, believe it or not. Why included? Because the sheet music bears a village scene including cricket match, thought to be the earliest image uniting music and the great game.

There are medleys of tv/radio cricket themes, school songs and Australian cricket ditties. Richard Stilgoe is in fabulous form, providing the best laughs of all in numbers such as Lillian Thomson, The Barmy Army and Andy Flower Duet (hilariously borrowing from Lakme's Flower Duet).

An Arvo Pärt-inspired setting of that best-selling tea towel 'The Ins and Outs of Cricket' is good fun, and although singing 'The Rules of Cricket' to Havergal's haunting psalm chant is hardly a new idea, it goes down well enough in the mix. Australian sales may be boosted by the Hannon/Walsh number Jiggery-Pokery, recalling that Ball of the Century by which Shane Warne disposed of Mike Gatting (ouch!) at Old Trafford back in 1993.

All this plus contributions from chanteuse Eliza Lumley and Rory Bremner in a talk-on part, reliving famous phrases from famous commentaries, plus a re-enactment of the never-ever-to-be-forgotten Test Match Special ‘corpsing commentators' episode originally featuring Brian Johnston and Jonathan Agnew—just as side-splitting here.

Everywhere the London Quartet expend gallons of good-humoured gusto in the cause (which incidentally will benefit the Lord's Taverners charity, helping disabled and disadvantaged children). Good, detailed sleeve note/texts material add to the pleasure of an album whose release richly deserved the 2011 Indian Summer.