This page lists the articles, interviews, documentaries and reviews about Ivor Cutler.

Magazine Articles

Below is a list of articles and interviews with Ivor Cutler in NME. A fuller listing is available from Chris Whichelow, Backnumbers, 51 Cecil Road, London SW19 1JR.

Date Notes
27th May 1978 Concert review
10th Sept 1983 LP review
13th July 1985 Concert review
3rd May 1986 LP review Gruts and picture. Page 28.
10th May 1986 Interview and Picture. Lawrence Watson interviewed Ivor Cutler in Regents Park Zoo and talked about his austere upbringing and the LP Gruts. Page 7.
1st Nov 1986 LP review and picture
6th Dec 1986 Concert review
28th Nov 1987 LP review and picture
16th July 1988 Small interview and picture
22nd Apr 1989 Concert review
27th May 1995 News item and picture

I know that there have been articles in the London events listing magazine Time Out and the UK music magazine Q, but I don't have any references for them.

Newspaper Articles

Below is a list of articles from British newspapers. The content of these articles may be available on CD-ROM in UK libraries.

Date Paper Notes
15th Aug 1993 The Times Reference to Ivor Cutler giving a reading at the Edinburgh Festival.
15th Jan 1994 The Guardian On his 71st birthday.
15th Jan 1994 The Observer On his 71st birthday.
28th May 1994 The Times Review of Ivor Cutler's series A Stuggy Pren broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
25th Feb 1995 The Times Article: Jazz section
7th Mar 1995 The Times Article: Notes for the Whole Story, Jazz section.
16th Apr 1995 The Times Review of The New Dress.
22nd Apr 1995 The Times Article: Spell of a Witch Report, Children's Books section.
10th June 1995 The Times Article: Great British Hopes by Ronald Fraser-Monro.
9th July 1995 The Times Article: Joker in the Park by Ian Black. Page SC/13.
16th July 1995 The Times Article: Summer of Fun.
22nd March 1997 The Telegraph Review: Weird and wonderful [Ludo]
22nd March 1997 The Telegraph Interview: The two-minute interview


The Telegraph, Saturday, March 22, 1997

Weird and wonderful - Another treasurable moment from recorded history
Ivor Cutler Trio - Ludo (Rev-Ola CREV049CD)

SPENDID! A new album from that unique talent Ivor Cutler, the Scottish absurdist poet, storyteller and harmonium-playing singer-sonwriter. It has a brightly coloured, up-to-date sort of cover - a ludo board design, very post-modern. And in one of the board's circles is a tiny snap of Cutler, looking, as ever, the deadest of deadpan and about 100 years old (his age - 70ish - is finally catching up with his face).
But in the small print the truth is revealed: this album of songs (plus a couple of stories) was first released in 1967. That was the year Cutler appeared in the Beatles film Magical Mystery Tour as a dismal old Scot called Buster Bloodvessel. Ludo's producer was George Martin and the original record company EMI, indicating that the Beatles were trying to bring Cutler to a wider audience.
Some hope. This is connoisseur's stuff: nursery rhymes for sophisticated adults. The music is redolent of folk tunes and vaudeville ditties, and there is a hint of Weimar jazz when double-bassist Gill Lyons and percussionist Trevor Tomkins get going. Some of the words, and their delivery, are surprisingly jolly: "I'm preoccupied with the state of my face / I'm preoccupied with my nose / I'm preoccupied with my flim flam flim / Why, goodness knows"; "Who wants a suck of my thumb? / Me! Me! Me! / Who wants a suck of my thumb when I'm sailing on the sea."
The more characteristically mournful I'm Going in a Field ("I'm going in a field / To lie down") is all the more spinetingling for following a number called I'm Happy. This welcome reissue comes from Rev-Ola, a branch of the Creation Records comapny to which Oasis are signed. (Oasis will be delighted to be stablemates of a man who, like so much of theie music, has associatinos with the Beatles.)
Eighteen months ago, Rev-Ola released Cutler's better-known album of stories, Life in a Scotch Sitting Room, Volume 2 (CREV035CD). And, yes, there really is a new Cutler album (of previously published poems) on the way: The Wet Handle [sic] to be released on the main Creation label on May 12. Meanwhile, we can only regret that, thanks to the smallness of CD boxes compared with LP sleeves, it is no longer possible to play ludo on the cover of Ludo.
Ivor Cutler performs at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London (0171-960-4242) on Monday, June 23).
Tim Rostron


The Telegraph, Saturday, March 22, 1997

The two-minute interview

Tim Rostron: This is the first time that 'Ludo' has been available since it was first released. It wasn't a big hit the first time around, was it ?
Ivor Cutler: When it was first issued by EMI it was given virtually no publicity. It was one of those thins that's brought out to either sink or swim. It sank. John Peel told me he picked up his copy in Woolworth's for 50p.
Why do you think EMI were so reluctant to push it ?
That's an incredibly naive question to ask me. Business people want to make money. They don't want to pour money where they're not going to get a good financial return. And I am not your middle-of-the-road, big, popular "Hi! everybody!" kind of person.
The record was produced by George Martin. What did he contribute ?
The trio had spent six months preparing for the recording. We came up with everything. George Martin was rather annoyed, because there was nothing for him to do. He pressed the necessary buttons, I suppose, at the console. I'm very pleased with the record, though. I'm delighted to hear what I sounded like 30 years ago.
In your lyrics and stories, how much is made up and how much is drawn from real life ?
I couldn't give you any kind of percentage. It would vary between the pieces. A man recognised me in Waitrose last week and said, I had a grandfather just like yours [on Life in a Scotch Sitting Room, Volume 2] who dished out graines of sand to all the kids. On that record, I was talking about being brought up in the Twenties when there was dire poverty.
Were your people poor ?
I came from people who were petit bourgeois, but money was always a problem.
When did you leave Scotland ?
I ran away to London in 1952.
What were you running away from ?
The people [laughs]. I do have Scottish friends. But the Free Church, with God looking down all the time making sure people don't sin, has a terrible effect on the Scottish. They like to disapprove.
What do you get up to when you're not writing or performing ?
I'm one of these people who ... is bored stiff. I spend my time thinking: what the hell am I going to do today ? So I might go to a second-hand bookshop, I might bicycle, go to the zoo or to a gallery. Things to pass the time.


Back to the main Ivor Cutler page
© 1996-7 Mark Lodge
Last Modified: Sunday March 30th 1997