Shirley Inspired (Various Artists incl Joe Murphy cover Shirley Collins, triple vinyl and CD on Earth Recordings, June 2015)
LOUDER THAN WAR
"Joe Murphy gives us a very Dubliner-ish version of 'Adieu To All Judges And Juries'"
Balloons For Thin Linda (album April 2015)
"With so many highlights to choose from, picking a favourite is something of a challenge"
R2 (live review, May 2015)
"elegant and charming folky pop that's easy to love. Tailor-made for late night folk-festival beer-tent shenanigans"
R2 (album review, May 2015)
"a clear influence of late 60s folk psychedelia, from the upbeat poppy sound to the off-kilter lyrics... a political commitment shines through"
R2 (feature, July 2015)
"exploring the minutiae of life in the quirky, English style of Jarvis Cocker"
STEVE CHANDLER, WALTHAMSTOW FOLK CLUB
"This is the album Ray Davies has been trying to make for the last forty years"
"Imagine if Billy Bragg and The Beatles collaborated...creative, inventive and quirky"
DANCING ABOUT ARCHITECTURE
"It is a rare thing to find songs so meaningful land so lightly on the listener, not for them the soap box ranting of more earnest and less aware artists... wonderfully unique...so now a decade's worth of back catalogue to purchase"
"21st century folk... a delight"
RADIO FREE AMERICANA
"one of the freshest, most original records out now, reminds me a bit of The Kinks"
BLABBER 'N' SMOKE
"well crafted and subversive... acute observations of modern ills... recalls Alan Hull, Robyn Hitchcock and Ray Davies"
AND SO SHE THINKS
"a punky and folky sonic pot...charismatic and pleasantly haywire"
S6 Girls single
WHISPERIN AND HOLLERIN
"sketches a vibrantly visual portrait"
Gold Feelings single
"a chorus so contagious that Bob Geldof is probably considering another fundraising track to stop it"
"Sounds like? McGuinness Flint gone very odd on the chorus and Medicine Head on the rest of the A side... Cuckoo Boogie clatters a merry and misanthropic way to real joy. Is it any good? Oh yes."
Go To The Devil And Shake Yourself (album April 2012)
GOD IS IN THE TV
"the album is divided between the introductory and recurring Here
Comes The Popes entitled mantras first half, and the more experimentally,
Factory Records imbued, â€œschismâ€ second... an often unsettling post-punk
influence... brings to life the ghosts and ill-gotten skeletons of a
megalomaniac indulged religious empire. 1400-years of misadventure and greed -
oh and complete disregard for the message at the heart of Christianity - is enacted
in song. Here's to the next chapter."
finest tracks here have a determined energy, eccentricity and radical sense of
purpose very few records being released at the moment do.... almost certainly
destined to become a future cult lost album... It will be a long time before
you hear the like again."
"chocked full of witty and intelligent
lyrics... a truly brave and ambitious project and I can guarantee that you
won't hear anything else like it, EVER."
PETER MUGGS, THE ARTS DESK
"I find myself almost lost for
inventive, they are by turn complex, playful and challenging"
COE, BBC 6 MUSIC
"an eye-opener and an eyebrow-raiser"
TOM RAVENSCROFT, BBC 6MUSIC
"It's a peculiar record. I think I
rather like it though"
A MUSICAL PRIORITY
"the folk-proggyness of The Decemberists
crossed with the Television Personalities"
SHOUT FOR MUSIC
"A complete mishmash of psychedelia, Celtic folk, punk, improv,
drone-rock and the occasional douse of pop, their live shows are never
short of breath-taking with violins and mandolins playing at immense
"every now and then an album arrives
that so completely engages it matters not from whereabouts in the left-field it
arrives... absorbing... you will either love or hate this... truly a musical
Marmite moment. Me? I loved it."
MULLONE (COMEDIAN), TWITTER
“Anyone else just heard Sgt Buzfuz 's
Here Comes the Popes on
#bbc6 music? Stunning. Just stunning.”
Danny's Room/Molly's Bar single (June 2011)
"another two effortless tunes. Danny's Room is situated somewhere inbetween Simon And Garfunkel and The Beatles at their most maudlin, it's a gorgeous lament. Molly's Bar is more upbeat with a chorus which impales itself in
your head from first listen...Like Belle And Sebastian with the 'twee' trimmed off, perfect for the summer, and one of their best singles to date"
WHISPERIN AND HOLLERIN
"this impressive double A-side is an
excellent showcase for the bandâ€™s idiosyncratic folk-pop sound, not to
mention Murphyâ€™s increasingly compelling lyrical dexterity....great story-telling"
NEW SINGLES REVIEW (single of the day)
"Fantastic...The lyrics are modern and vivid, the more I listen to the song the
clearer the picture it builds and being set to a folk backing just
throws the images into sharper relief."
"as finely a crafted acoustic pop song as you'll find anywhere, it harks
back to a time when there was more to singles than fluff and beats.... two absolutely solid songs that can put albums to shame."
Knock Knock Knock EP (Feb 2011)
SOCCER AM SITE
"Imagine if The Pogues and Kings Of Leon had a very weird child. His name would be Sergeant Buzfuz."
WHISPERIN AND HOLLERIN
"an intriguing genre-shredding mash-up, showing
off the bandâ€™s propensity for arcane instrumentation (mandolins and
violins at dawn), but also an enviously memorable chorus which simply
cries out for radio play. Lob in an exceptionally snaky bassline and
youâ€™re well sorted."
Popes 4 Cops 1 (single March 2010)
"an addictively good tune"
THE SUNDAY EXPERIENCE BLOG
"liberally dusted in the kind of wasted and off centred fat funky fancifulness that was once the loose fit sole remit of a "Bummed" era Happy Mondays though obviously here appearing to have debunked Shaun and in his place hastily acquired John Cooper Clarke for vocal niceties...Well smart. Flip side "Here Come The Cops" is a mind-wiring trip-wiring tapestry of mood melting retro groove...not unlike those dudes of cool Beyond the Wizard's Sleeve"
High Slang (album Feb 09)
"Ceaselessly inventive...14 candidates for John Peel's Festive Fifty"
"Dazzling...Referencing 1960s punk, psychedelia, Krautrock, Irish folk, glam-rock and drone, Sergeant Buzfuz achieve a harmonious, chiming mash-up, sounding like none of the above. â€˜High Slangâ€™ should be the record which catapults the band out of the underground"
"Buzfuz are a bloody riot"
"songs full of spirit, an album full of them" (Album Of The Week)
"Blending an awe inspiring instrumental with poetic and story-telling lyrics on each and every song its difficult to be even remotely bored by this band."
"If a Northern Bowie was in the Super Furry Animals...infectiously catchY...remarkably escaping any immediate comparison, sound-wise, despite having a relatively accessible (though not overly-commercial) sound."
"Sergeant Buzfuz definitely do whatever they like and they definitely have something to say. Endearing and compelling"
"Razor-sharp lyrical wit"
"delicious sense of wit"
"The problem with dumbing down radio is that it means most people never to get hear bands like Sergeant Buzfuz."
God To Holloway (single Jan 09)
"this has had us in something of a swoon....strangely perfect"
"intriguing and relentlessly catchy"
Here Come The Popes Part 3 single (Sep 09)
MARK LAMARR, RADIO 2
"One of my favourite songs for some time... I love its spirit, I love the idea behind it, I love the fact that it's like nothing else I've ever heard"
TOM ROBINSON, BBC 6
"like the Pogues beating up My Life Story....Single of the month by a mile"
DAVE BRYANT - SWEEPING THE NATION - 100 BEST TRACKS OF THE NOUGHTIES
"Popes manages to be political, amusing, adventurous, intelligent and incredibly memorable, features which are rare in isolation, and seldom ever found in the same song at the same time. Itâ€™s quirky without being whacky, imaginative without being self-indulgent, and funny without being throwaway. It may even at times make you feel angry."
"a bizarre string-driven song about those popes of the middle ages thatâ€™s kind of XTCish"
"Like the Soft Boys, this is unselfconsciously smart-pop, with a noir-psychedelic twist"
"Something that sounds rather like what you'd get if the characters in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales had played a football match instead of making a pilgrimage, Here Come the Popes Part 3 (Blang!) is heart-meltingly splendid and gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling you associate with string laden pop songs."
BBC.CO.UK LONDON CALLING PAGE
"they have taken the Sixties back catalogue and asked Gorky's Zygotic Mynci to give it a remix"
"a wonderfully lazy and lolloping affair flashed through with liberal doses of wintry cast celebratory brass fanfares that appear to tumble and trip across the grooves with an almost pie eyed punch drunk candour as though instigated by an after hours drinking session between the Dexy's and Robyn Hitchcock."
VIVIAN BONZO - SANDMAN
"a triumph of quintestentially English, anti-folk sentiment. Sergeant Buzfuz are from that oddball corner of the music world, filed away at the back under quirky, which gave us Robyn Hitchcock, Jarvis Cocker, XTC and Morrissey"
The Jewelled Carriageway (album 2006)
GED M - SOUNDS XP
"'Swallows' puts you in mind of English eccentrics XTC while Television Personalities wouldn't turn up their noses at the minimalist pop magic of "Something To Lose".... Intense, original, clever, funny and moving and "in the best possible way" gets you wondering: what the hell am I listening to?"
JAMES WALSH - MORNING STAR
"has a rich, warm, string-laden sound and luxuriates in the seedy underbelly of urban living.... perverse and memorable, modern-day folk music."
PETE WHALLEY - GET READY TO ROCK
"an album of quietly staggering beauty. Joe's vocals remind at times of Alex Harvey - gritty and emotive, and the band play with perfect understatement.
It's enchanting, engaging and totally absorbing with more passion and integrity than you could shake a stick at. This is new British folk at it's very, very best - challenging but accessible. Buy it."
"Sergeant Buzfuz have struck gold with this album. A gem."
"Very tuneful and undeniably modern."
'Indelible' (track on Fruit Machine compilation, 2005)
"string-haunted modern urban angst, like Nick Cave on the doleâ€¦to paraphrase Art Brut: Sergeant Buzfuz - TOP OF THE POPS!"
"wins the prize for the funniest lyric we've heard for a long time"
Fire Horse (album 2004)
"Imagine folk music with strong pop sensibilities, an outer layer of humour with a darker inner layer, and a distinctive mix of traditional instruments...FIRE HORSE oozes sincerity and acute personal observation, while creating a sound that is wholly original and tantalising. There's no better example of Murphy's art than the title track, Fire Horse, and the incredible closing track See-Through. The album is made up of eleven diverse, beautiful and moving folk/pop songs, and I implore you to grab a copy."
GILLIAN NASH - LOGO
"it sounds like he's dragged Bob Dylan, Robyn Hitchcock and Marc Bolan into the studio with him as well, making this both a curio and a joy"
(Gillian Nash, Logo Magazine)
"REM would kill, hopefully each other, for songs like these. â€œFire Horseâ€ is simply a collection of excellent songs."
"Fire Horse manages to pull some cracking melodies out of the hat, especially on the gently crafted 'Untitled # 2' or the lulling repetition of 'Ghost'... Fire Horse is impossible to dislike, brimming with eloquent sentiment and a fistful of tunes."
THE WEST BRITON
"Fire Horse is a rich, passionate record that brings to mind Leonard Cohen in a snug bar or a more loveable Chumbawamba. Murphy's raspy vocals also conjure up the spirit of Strummer and many of these songs could be off some alternative Sandinista! Highlights include the hypnotic dulcimer-hammered Ghost and the folktronica of See-Through, which explodes into a fitting finale."
"vocalist Joe Murphy shares an attribute or two with loveable loonies and oddball wordsmiths like Robyn Hitchcock and John Otway. Or even Ray Davies. Or Wreckless Eric....like driving out into the green English wilderness and chancing upon a folk night singaround at a remote village pub called 'The Syphilis Ploughboy'. The crusty bread is hallucinogenic, The Handsome Family have booked a room for the night and there's a dead body in the duck pond."
"The title track is a beautiful thing....Oddities like this come along once or twice a year. I'm hooked."
JAMES SKINNER - SOUNDS XP
"a work of flawed genius"
"another selection of songs touched with his lyrical geniusâ€¦.Like Damon Gough and Jarvis Cocker he's got a knack for romanticising the mundane."
"Somewhere between the points defined by the eclectic folk eccentricity of the Incredible String Band and John Cooper Clark's stream of punk poet consciousness"
WARWICKSHIRE AND WORCESTERSHIRE HERALD
"a classmate of the likes of Morrisey and Jarvis Cocker"
JAEMS EAGLE - MORNING STAR
"quintessentially British music that fits right in the long line running from the Kinks through the Smiths and on into Blur, bookish romantics always ready to conceal a breaking heart with a biting wit."
"When Joe Murphy - Buzfuz - croons "Leather and chain worn around snowflake and lace" on the cracked orchestral acoustica of 'Shimmers Like Gold', he sums up his crafted wine-fly artistry more eloquently than any cliche-ropey, frameful, blameful prose could ever hope to achieve. Nicking the string arrangements left over from Let It Be Naked, this is a tarnished gem. Buy it."
"the veins of originality which run through Fire Horse are easy to see and rich for mining."
JOHN KELL VS SATAN BLOG - BEST ALBUMS OF THE DECADE
"Hm, how would I classify this? Rough folk is perhaps the best I can come up with. Buzfuz emerged from the circles that produced the Broken Family Band, Chris T-T and Timothy Victor; indeed, long-term T-T producer Jon Clayton was at the helm of this record too. That list gives a clue to the sound here, but the songs are somehow more aggressively their own, sometimes viscerally emotional, sometimes stuffed with weird imagery and sometimes very funny."
Obsessive Compulsion Pour Homme (album 2001)
" a selection of quirky and heartfelt songsâ€¦.a nice line in charming melodies, simply marvellous"
TREVOR BAKER - BOL.COM (BOOKS ONLINE)
" Like another Yorkshire boy exiled to London, Sergeant Buzfuz, aka Joe Murphy, has got a way with words. The reverse romance of "Don't spray Chanel on your arms and neck / plastic lilies will be all you'll get'' from "Public Enemy # 1" could be straight out of the Jarvis Cocker songbook. Musically, too, there are similarities with early Pulp in the low-rent organ sounds and lo-fi indie production. But, if anything, Murphy has an even sharper sense of humour and the likes of the Hefner-esque "Bite Your Lip" show he's got the tunes to go with it."
Plugged In (7 inch EP, 2000)
APRIL LONG - NME
"Who is Sergeant Buzfuz and what army does he represent? We know not. The only artefact of his existence that we have ever encountered is this seven-inch circle of sound featuring three quietly thrilling musical gems. The warped pop of "Cool Brittania' is rambling, ephemeral and literate in a manner reminiscent of Robyn Hitchcock; 'Jesus Loves You When You're Naked' comes on like a comedy cross between Dylan, Hefner and
George Harrison; 'Plugged In' somehow manages to bridge all of the above while also incorporating a Theremin. Eccentric and lo-fi, and oddly touching. Here's hoping there's more where this came from."
" Debut single from London-based newcomer - plaintive vocals, weird sound effects and acoustic guitar combine to create a sound not unlike the Kinks being produced by Badly Drawn Boy"
"incisive lyrical content"
"comes on like a one-man Teardrop Explodes."
Live review quotes
"Buzfuz is Northern England's twenty-first century incarnation of Bob Dylan"
WHISPERIN' AND HOLLERIN'
"go see this band if you get the chance, they are brilliant."
"Sgt Buzfuz has a lot to say about things. His observations on 'what the fuck we're all doing here' left a Billy Bragg/Jarvis Cocker/Ian Dury kind of impression."
MORE QUOTES ON REVIEWS PAGE