Clippetyclop Cloptimism LP

$ 40.00

Clippetyclop Cloptimism LP

White vinyl edition

Package includes:

*  100x copies are avaialble 

*  150 gram vinyl 

*  Gatefold jacket.

Clippetyclop – ‘Cloptimism’


Twenty years ago, in 2004, a rabble band of artists led by myself as a deaf vocalist, collaborated with several virtuoso musicians to form a band, and attracted invitations to play live at art openings and parties. Clippetyclop was formed in the spirit of ‘bad music’, our influences being such as William Shatner, Florence Foster Jenkins, the Shaggs, the Legendary Stardust Cowboy, early performances by the Slits, and Ireland’s the Bogmen. Our ‘sound’ involved a quasi-cosmic aspiration to hold onto even the most rudimentary quality of musical finesse, and this created a peculiar effect. It was a specific gig: an elaborate attempt to sound merely plausible. Thus, there were bizarre occasions such as when a punter complimented us on our proficiency in free-form jazz, when in fact we were attempting to play a simple little country and western number. Clippetyclop could effortlessly, without pretension, be so badly fractured whilst attempting to be as competently ordinary as possible.

Our in-built formal restriction, the ballast against too much Pegasan flight was the fact that I elected myself to be the band’s lead singer and songwriter. But whilst my deafness has an auditory cut-off year of around 1984, I can draw upon an acoustic memory of popular music in most genres up to that date. Indeed, I still host a whole can of earworms (the clinical term for those parasitical melodies that chew into and take up permanent, uninvited residence in one’s head) and, for leisure, I sing old songs on (unheard) guitar by following downloaded chord sheets. However, whereas the guitar sounds reasonably faithful to the original and my voice oscillates roughly around the tune, the two instruments are in entirely different keys to the each other.

So to function as Clippetyclop’s songwriter, (with some assistance from Simon Raven), I needed to rely on reconditioning tunes that I could actually recall. This method lends Clippetyclop’s songs a certain familiarity although accurate identification of the original tune may be just out of reach since we were rarely in tune. Intricate chording, shading and punctuation, arranged in detail during rehearsal-parties was then loosened up whenever we played live, since the rhythm, which I was supposed to be leading on guitar, skittered around like a budgie dipped in mercury. Whilst the beat often started off solidly, before long it would often become frustratingly (or interestingly) sent off on a slithering journey to the dark marrow of rhythm’s funny-bone itself. Thus, our ‘Clippetyclop’ beat is as identifiable in its own way as a Fats Domino thin-card shuffle, Fellini’s majestic Mambo Number 37, or a Beefheartian clatterbang.

The aspiration to just get up and have fun together and appal our audiences was all. Clippetyclop offered up an invocation to the hoofbeats of Pegasus as he lopes along a racetrack preparing to spread his mysteriously clipped, yet hopeful wings.

Cloptimism was recorded in a studio beneath the Bethnal Green Overground train line in London. The album was recorded and mixed over just two hours, so these recordings are all first takes. Whereas ‘Cloptimism’ was distributed to friends and curators (on CD), in the noughties, this vinyl album produced by Cadabra Records is the first time it as been made publicly available.


  • Aaron Williamson, 2024


The artists/musicians on ‘Cloptimism’ were:

Laurence Harvey – percussion, voice

Janet Hodgson – saxophone

Kate Meynell - voice

Simon Raven – keyboards, coconuts, voice

Sean Roe - bass

Pauline Smith – trombone, trumpet

Sarah Tobias – saxophone, clarinet

Aaron Williamson – voice, guitar