The Plain People Of England are part of a secret subset of Homosexuals-related activity centered around Rob Murphy and his frequent collaborator Ted Barrow, a peripheral presence in both the original Homosexuals saga and a member of the post-Homosexuals unit Die Trip Computer Die alongside Jim Welton and Lepke Buchwater. The Murphy material has taken numerous guises over the years (Murphy No Geisha, Murphy Federation, Orchestre Murphy, Up Murphy Street, etc.) and to be honest, it wasn't until just recently that the work recorded under the Plain People Of England moniker finally clicked with me. Played closer to the vest than under their other guises, TPPOE privileges the most suavely urbane aspects of Murphy's collective aesthetic (something that on it's best days smacks of Slapp Happy at their most poignant) in a way that can initially register as surprisingly straight and cause this to slip right past you if you're not paying close attention. To put it another way, this album takes a strong turn for the better midway through. If that sounds like a reticent endorsement, do know that said latter half is often a thing of real heart tugging beauty and, as with all of Murphy's other aliases, this album (never released and only handed off to friends of the band) is a must hear for anyone into the Homosexuals mystery school.
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