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Vivian Stanshall & biG Grunt


Vivian Stanshall
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biG Grunt was the brainchild of Vivian Stanshall and was created following the demise of The Bonzo Dog Band. Although Stanshall had released a single with his ‘Sean Head Showband’ after the Bonzo’s had split, biG Grunt was intended to be Stanshalls major new post Bonzo project.

biG Grunt included two members of the Bonzo Dog Band. The Bassist Dennis Cowan (who was also working in Neil Innes’ post Bonzo band, The World) as well as the Bonzo’s, ‘third’ songwriter, tenor saxophonist and eccentric inventor, Roger Ruskin Spear.

The other members of biG Grunt were guitarists Bubs White and ‘Borneo’ Fred Munt (both of whom were members of the Bonzo’s road crew) and on drums Ian Wallace (also of Innes’ The World and later King Crimson)

biG Grunt’s career was shortlived spanning from 1970 to 1971. They released only one single, ‘Blind date’, written for, but turned down by crooner Matt Monroe. ‘Blind date’ is the story of a gorilla and a pygmy who meet up through a dating agency. It was doube A sided with ‘Suspicion’, a song by another of Stanshalls shortlived groups, ‘Vivian Stanshall and his Gargantuan Chums.’

biG Grunt also recorded four titles for the John Peel sessions in March1970. It was their first public appearance and the titles, recorded live, were; ‘Blind Date’, ‘11 Mustachioed Daughters’ (from the Bonzo Dog band’s second album), ‘The Strain’ and ‘Cyborg Signal’.
These tracks demonstrate the humour and musicality of biG Grunt as well as the originality and musical diversity of the band. These four songs range in sound from country and western parody, through to rock instrumental ‘freakouts’, not unlike many progressive bands of the day.

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