ALBUM OF THE MONTH: The Cut Up by Jo Bartlett (February 2023)

By Neil Durham


TRACKLIST: Fortress; And I Loved You; Greener; Aldershot; Eilean; Our Reward; Camden; Hwyl; Hero

A confession: as a teenager we used to go to Aldershot’s Buzz Club which Bartlett ran featuring intimate gigs by bands that would go on to great things including The Stone Roses, The Charlatans, The Beautiful South and Blur.

  • Read on for reasons including what next for Bartlett as well as how to glimpse Indie Through The Looking Glass

Bartlett, originally from Frimley Green in Surrey, has been in bands since the 80s and The Cut Up is a brief 28-minute collection of songs and soundscapes which reference Aldershot and that scene of so many brilliant early gigs by so many up-and-coming acts.

Check out Bartlett’s blog Indie Through The Looking Glass for more detail of that time but we’re writing about her new album because it’s really rather good.

Single And I Loved You could be from 1 of those dream Buzz Club gigs thanks to its imploring electronica hook, combined with gentle indie jingle-jangle guitar and earnest female vocal.

Greener may be a reflection on Bartlett’s work with partner Danny Hagan to set up the Green Man Festival in Wales which they set up in 2003 with a 350-crowd for 1 day before selling in 2011 with a 15,000 capacity across 4 days.

Aldershot includes samples from what we’re assuming are Buzz Club gigs and is in part a moody instrumental drawing on the more rave elements of the 90s scene.

Our Reward has a dreamlike vocal somewhere set back in the mix as a variety of styles including folk – both Bartlett and Hagan used to be part of acclaimed folktronica duo It’s Jo and Danny – and 80s The Cure blend.

The Cut Up won’t be for everyone but Bartlett proves she’s a force to be reckoned with in masterminding an almost dream-like atmosphere around that quite brilliant single.

There’s a new single not included here called I Don’t Want To Hear Anymore and the promise of more regular releases every 8 weeks on the blog – and we’re absolutely here for it.

  • Main picture via Facebook courtesy Jo Bartlett Tickets
  • Have you seen a Jo Bartlett show before and what did you think of this album? Let us know what you thought in the comments below
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow monstagigz on Twitter @NeilDurham, email and check us out on Instagram and Facebook

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