• James McGee

So, who knew...?

Y'know when you happen upon something unexpected that turns out to be something rather special..?

It happened to me the other week. There I was, poodling down the A303; keeping to the speed limit, obviously - having already attended one Speed Awareness course, thank you very much - and listening to Ken Bruce. Not sure why; I suspect the alternative was probably Woman's Hour on Radio 4.

Anyway, I caught the tail-end of what sounded like a great track which was new to me and then I heard Ken say it was called Out of Range and it was on a just-released album performed by some outfit called The Indoor Garden Party.

Nope, I hadn't heard of them, either and then The Bruce knocked me for six when he said it was the band co-founded by Russell Crowe.

And blow me, if they weren't on The One Show a few days later. Now, that is not a programme I usually watch as I find it excruciating television - a cross between Blue Peter and having a tooth extracted - but this time I gave it the benefit of the doubt and stayed to watch Russell and his pals - led by vocalist and keyboard player, Scott Grimes. If the name sounds familiar, he's also an actor and played Will Scarlett alongside Crowe's Robin Hood in Ridley Scott's film of the same name. Kevin Durand, who played Little John in the film, is also a band member.

That prompted me to nip onto Amazon to check out the album where I found it had gained cracking reviews. Upshot is, I ordered the album there and then.

All the songs are co-written by Crowe - he's lead vocalist on a few of them, along with Grimes, Alan Doyle and the brilliant Samantha Barks. The songs are an eclectic mix with great tunes and intelligent lyrics. You can tell a lot of thought has gone into them. This is definitely not a case of 'let's knock a few ditties out and try and make a quick buck'. This is the real thing.

And judging from the You Tube videos that are available, they're definitely worth seeing live, too.

An absolute gem.

Sadly, the One Show video is no longer around but if yiou wann check out the song, click on the image below.

Also, there's a terrific video of an interview Russell gave on BBC5 Live where he talks about his music. If you want to take a look, click on the link: