CD Review: The Mock Turtles – Turtle Soup (Expanded Edition)

For the casual listener, it might appear that The Mock Turtles only released two records, 1991’s commercially friendly Can You Dig It? and the title track from the bands follow-up EP, And Then She Smiles.

In fact, The Mock Turtles had evolved from Manchester’s Judge Happiness back in the mid-80s. Featuring singer, songwriter and guitarist Martin Coogan, they  had several single releases to their name by the time their success peaked at the height of the so-called Madchester Scene in the early 90s.

The Mock Turtles debut LP, Turtle Soup, released during this period featured a wealth of guitar led pop, giving a flavour for Coogan’s strong songwriting talents as well as the bands effectiveness as a unit.

The original 11 track album has now received  a long overdue expanded release.  Cathy Come Home, How Does It Feel? and Mary’s Garden are all high-points of the original album, but only serve as a taster of greater things to come.

There is also the opportunity to hear more of the bands repertoire comprising early singles, non-album B-Sides and tribute cuts to The Kinks and Jimi Hendrix as well as 14 previously unreleased demo recordings.

A version of Watching The Waning Moon gives an insight into The Mock Turtles live performances, while the tracks Angel, Time Between/Why and The Only One deliver great guitar pop moments that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Byrds release.

Turtle Soup Expanded   is the definitive collection to celebrate both a great album and discover much more of The Mock Turtles sound than ever before.

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