Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Claggers - Chumley's Laughing Gear (1971)

Chumley's Laughing Gear by Claggers is an obscure little pop album which appears to have slipped under the radar of both the Tapestry Of Delights and Galactic Ramble, neither is it listed in the Record Collector Price Guide 2014. I bought a copy of the LP a few months back on the strength of the outstanding single "Someone" b/w "Umber Rag" (which can be heard on BID Vol.13 if you're interested). 

When the record arrived in the post the first thing that struck me was the hideous and slightly euro proggish sleeve which depicts the band as Jack in the boxes, but to be fair, they probably didn't have a huge budget for artwork, or promotion for that matter hence the album bombing and being virtually ignored ever since.

It turns out that Claggers were not really a proper band but more of a studio creation of four backroom boys working for DJM records at the time and on the back of the LP under their names where you would normally see what instruments the members play you instead get their day job titles: Stuart Epps (Record Producer), Kaplan Kaye (A and R Man), Clive Franks (Chief Recording Engineer) and Jeff Titmus (Recording Engineer), smaller print indicates their musician roles as Vocalist, Pianist/Vocalist, Guitarist and Drummer respectively. They're also joined by Caleb Quaye on a few tracks and it was him who you have to thank for their dodgy name!

L-R Clive Franks, Stuart Epps, Kaplan Kaye, Jeff Titmus
The album was recorded during studio downtime, unbeknownst to Dick James who one day caught the band  in the act and luckily for them, liked what he heard. Rightly so as there are some remarkably well written pop songs on the record, which unsurprisingly sounds quite like Elton John in places. "Eric Is Calling" is a dead ringer for "Bad Side Of The Moon" and that's not a bad thing! The album is not a masterpiece by any means but I'm honouring it in this blog as it seems to have been cold shouldered by collectors despite a handful of ace tunes to it's name...and here's one of them...dig!!!


  1. Thanks for your work on this site. No visit ends without a new musical discovery. Please keep up the good work

  2. How incredible! What a find.
    There is so much history behind these chaps :)

    Dr C