Prodigious artistic talent, Joe Inkpen

Joe Inkpen

musician, composer, painter, and all art prodigy.

Presumably not his real name Joe proved his talents as a painter before studying for a BA in Commercial Music at Canterbury Christ Church University, graduating in 2009.

Whilst at University he formed an alt punk band for a bit of fun. Da Mushrooms, featuring a multinational line up of Christos Peonides (Drums) Dan Turnbull (Bass) Dmitry Kutirev (Guitar, Vocal) and Joe himself on guitar, the band produced a number of unusual songs including the slightly disturbing “Love” which has featured as the closing track of every Thursday Breakdown on Federal Radio and prior to that when the show went out on XRP Radio.
The song is broadly punk and yet has so many twists and turns that it is qualifies as Prog. Could it be the only Prog/Punk crossover ever? I’d be curious to know of others.

Alongside this project Joe formed the Mop Collective, progressive and musically challenging, the band is also a firm favourite at Federal radio where they are consistently voted into the top ten every week. (Voting is done via a link on the website chat-box while the song is playing)

Joe himself closely resembles Frank Zappa with long black curly hair and neatly cultivated facial hair, and the collective has been likened to Zappa, musically. Indeed it does appear to be something of a “cult of personality” as Joe is the only member listed on the myspace and facebook pages. Although the Reverbnation profile is more forthcoming, listing Tori Hamel-Cooke (superb female vocalist) Patrick Tolliday, Marcus Chapman, Sean Hammond, Christos Peonides who you may recall was also the drummer in Da Mushrooms.

Arguably their most accessible song (from a musical point of view) would be Dawn, the intro for which is almost identical to the intro to Paranoid by Black Sabbath, but which then parts company from that song in so many ways showing a lighter side, and offering tempo changes and powerful-then-subtle vocals galore. The live version of this recorded at a gig in London includes Tori telling the audience in her lovely sweet voice that “We’ve got blood over the guitar already, this is good. It’s a good gig.”

This youtube video is a different performance of the same song.

Alongside forming these these bands Joe wrote soundtracks for several student films and played on or engineered numerous other bands recordings.

Continuing with a Masters degree in 2010 did not stop him also taking on bass guitar in one of my favourite bands, Daylight Saving fronted by the ever so lovely Kate Lynn-Devere who also hosts her own radio show Kate’s Sunshine Cast. (In more recent times Daylight Saving have become a duo but for a while they were a full band.)

Incredibly Joe still managed to find time for yet another project and teamed up with the beautiful and talented Bliss Nayler, to create Blissful Mop, which, at least for a time, included Glenn McDougal on bass. Glenn of course also runs Federal Radio. It is all very incestuous in the music biz! Certainly he pays on their excellent CD “Seventeen” featuring five varied tracks, and available on MP3

And as if that were not enough Joe manages to find time for yet another band with, I notice, yet another stunning female vocalist. Spyplane, fronted by Sherrie Tappenden, reviewed recently in this blog.

And the list is still not complete because another credit on his website says that he was in a band called “Contact” with Matt Wright, although there seems to be no information about this band beyond that brief mention.

Now most musicians who are in a lot of bands are not usually the main leader and songwriter but Joe Inkpen manages to write many if not most of the songs and produces most of the recordings he features on.

Quite honestly if Mr. Inkpen is not, in years to come, a revered musician held in as much esteem as Frank Zappa, or Lou Reed, then the world truly has become a place in which I don’t want to live. Alas I think that ship may have sailed but I am still young enough to hold out a small torch of hope for the good taste of at least SOME of the human race.

He is young yet, and surely, if he keeps on keeping on, he must achieve some sort of recognition. I need to believe it anyway.

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  1. […] Mop are one of several bands to feature guitarist, songwriter, Joe Inkpen. Combing the name of the lead singer Bliss Nayler, with Joe’s earlier band The Mop […]

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