The Observer / Guardian review, “Various, Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys”

Nick Cave, as usual, tries way too hard to convince us he has a direct line to the dark stuff on ‘Fire Down Below’, while Bryan Ferry flutters a trifle too politely for a jack tar – he’s clearly officer class.

Lou Reed, who may have once glimpsed Coney Island beach, is quickly out of his depth while Jarvis Cocker, pressganged into the navy, tackles ‘A Drop of Nelson’s Blood’.

As for the craic, Seattle’s oddball Baby Gramps makes a winning old salty dog and Gavin Friday relishes the obscene ‘Baltimore Whores’, though it’s Loudon Wainwright who wins out with a deadpan delivery of the deliciously bawdy ‘Good Ship Venus’ – parental advisory lyrics clearly go way back.

A patchy collection, then, but despite its longueurs (six minutes becalmed with Ed Harcourt), a worthwhile voyage of discovery.

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