Album: BOBBY VALENTINO
Released by Handmade Music on 18th July 2011
Available to order at
Valentino’s new album, “Pat-a-Cake, Pat-a-Cake”, is
Handmade Music in the true sense of the term. What you
hear is what the musicians played and sung at the time:
no computers, no synthesisers, no sampling, no auto-tune
and no drum machines were used in any way. This more
traditional approach adds liveliness and an organic
heart that makes the music breath in a very natural
way. It does exactly what it says on the tin.
"Pat-a-Cake, Pat-a-Cake" is a very individual
album showcasing as it does a particular take on a very
stylised series of songs. Bobby Valentino has co-written
twelve of the fourteen songs on the album and is backed
by a stellar band that also features cameos from Martin
Belmont and B J Cole. The songs hark back to an era
where swing held sway, suits were sharp and lyrics were
Nobody who has seen Bobby lead his Americana-style band,
Los Pistoleros , will be surprised
that he has moved from being a sideman and into the
spotlight. On “Pat-a-Cake, Pat-a-Cake” it’s Bobby’s
singing and song writing that comes to the fore. He’s
definitely a born-again golden throated crooner in the
Bing Crosby, Dean Martin vein giving it a lot
of suave over tunes that evoke the pre-rock era and
hint at the swing jazz of Stephane Grappelli
and Django Reinhardt. Sixty years ago
he would have been a huge star – “looks like Gable,
sings like Crosby”.
Why is it called “Pat-a-Cake, Pat-a-Cake”? Bobby says
“It’s a quote from The Road movies; with Bing
Crosby and Bob Hope, you know
“The Road to Rio” or “…Morocco” etc. I wanted to call
the album; Land of Hope and Crosby’
but that title has already been taken by Sid Griffin
& The Coal Porters.
In the last few years Bobby has:
• written and recorded 2 albums (”Triggerhappy”
& “Cult 45”), and toured, with
his Americana style band, Los Pistoleros;
• recorded an album (“Eclectic”) and toured with Big
• eaten in some of the world’s best restaurants with
Mark Knopfler as well as playing many
shows with him;
• played a few shows with Tom Petty & the
• acted in a couple of movies and TV commercials.
• went all the way to the High Court to gain a writing
credit on the Bluebells’ “Young
(he wrote the violin hook-line);
• had some wonderful times with Rolf Harris;
• appeared on TOTP (sadly missed) a
few more times as well as the usual round of TV shows.
Some of the tracks on “Pat-a-Cake, Pat-a-Cake” were
released as part of “This is Murder”
(another quote from the “Road” movies) in Japan in 2004
and did very well, this encouraged Bobby to organise
a release in the UK and Europe.
Bobby wanted to release “Pat-a-Cake, Pat-a-Cake” in
2005 but an R’n’B performer stole his name - so the
lawyers made some more money! Bobby Wilson (now known
as Bobby V, so it’s Bobby Vee’s
turn to have a go at him) is known as The Midget in
R’n’B circles because he’s only 5’ 2” and since he wanted
to be a heartthrob and needed a good name to make up
for his lack of stature he presumably decided to ignored
the results of a Google search and called himself Bobby
Valentino. Cue another bonanza for the legal profession.
The real Bobby Valentino is from a musical family;
his mother was a very good singer and violinist who
would have become professional if WW2 hadn’t gotten
in the way and his sister is the Oscar winning film
score composer and arranger Anne Dudley.
The only time they have collaborated was on the sound
track of the Stephen Fry film “Bright
Young Things” but the scene they worked on
ended up on the cutting room floor.
He began his career in music in 1975 as a founder member
of the Fabulous Poodles recording 3
albums with them and touring extensively in the US and
Europe. The band had a great cult success in the UK
but they were even bigger in America. As the Fab Poos
shelf life came to an end Bobby began to be in demand
as the session violinist - working with anyone who craved
the sound of horsehair on catgut, including the likes
of Haysi Fantayzee (“Shiny,
Shiny”): the above mentioned Bluebells:
Bronski Beat; Cliff Richard and the Young Ones;
Red Box; Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers; Bob Dylan;
Mark Knopfler; Big Country; Sinead and Des
O’Connor; The Christians; The Men They Couldn’t Hang;
Bob Geldof; Billy Bragg; Alabama 3 and even
ended up doing TOTP with The
Woolpackers and B*witched.
We asked Bobby to say a few words about each track:
1. The Man Who Invented Jazz (Valentino/Birch)
“Will Birch sent me the lyrics in
the post and the letter arrived on a Saturday morning.
The lyrics were so great that I had finished the song
before I finished my first cup of tea of the day!
It's my attempt at writing a melody in the style of
George Gershwin but we played it too
fast for anyone to notice. In fact we were determined
to make the record shorter than 2 minutes long and kept
playing it faster and faster until it came in at 1:58.
It’s packed with so much interest, though, that it seems
2. No Smoke Without Fire (Wangford/Valentino)
“I wrote this with Hank Wangford for
a musical, C.H.A.P.S., which still
holds the house record at the Theatre Royal,
I was accidentally “shot” during the show and had to
act a totally over the top death scene. This wasn’t
the first time I’d died on stage.
3. Sweet Temptation (Travis/Stone)
“Written and first recorded in 1946 by Merle
Travis. This song has a history in both Country
music and Rhythm & Blues, even Isaac Hayes
recorded it in 1964.
It is one of the few songs published by Elvis
Presley Music Inc.”
4. I Made My Excuses and Stayed (Valentino/Birch)
“Another Will Birch lyric that arrived by post but
this time finding a melody took a little longer. When
it did come, about 3 days later, it was all in one flow
of inspiration - much to the annoyance of my long suffering
girlfriend who was waiting for us to go out to dinner
at the time”.
5. Pink City Boogie (Valentino)
“The third in a trilogy of Pink City songs:
The Fabulous Poodles used to do the Pink
City Twist and Los Pistoleros
did Pink City Polka.
Pink City is a chemical plant in the desert of East
California, and since it was impossible to disguise
it or hide it they painted every part of it pink! Including
the fences and a railway that runs around the edge,
this even does tourist rides. We discovered it when
touring with the Fab Poos in the late 1970s. That’s
Martin Belmont on the twangy, surfy guitar”.
“I suppose it could also refer to Jaipur or Toulouse
as they are both known as Pink City (from the colour
of their soil and bricks respectively)”.
6. You’ll Be Sorry (Valentino/Birch)
“This came from hearing a child chant “You’ll be sorry”
- in the sing-songy way that they do - and the rest
of the tune just followed. But it took a few years to
actually get it finished, with the help of Will”.
7. A Way With Women (Valentino/Birch)
“Another of Will’s witty lyrics that I had no trouble
relating to and I had great fun recording”.
8. Is A Bluebird Blue? (Valentino/Birch)
“This is actually a 12 bar blues in the sense that
it’s bluesy and the verse is 12 bars long but there
are ½ bars all over the place to make the lyrics fit
9. Walking After Midnite (Hecht/Block)
“I know of no version of this song sung by a man so
I decided to put that right”
10. Fancy Meeting You Here (Valentino/Clark)
“This song is written about someone I know, but she’s
still alive – just”
11. Every Now And Then (Valentino/Clark)
“Described as a “stiff upper lip heart-breaker” it’s
about a girlfriend who is no longer on this mortal coil.
It’s complete fiction”.
“The solo is from B J Cole showing
us how versatile the pedal steel guitar can be”.
12. Just Good Friends (Valentino/Clark)
The song was inspired by Neil Kinnock;
in the House of Commons when replying to
Maggie Thatcher he said “I refute and
despise what the Prime Minister implies” so I wrote
the tune with those words - before making them more
acceptable for a song.
13. Guaran-damn-tee (Valentino/Clark)
“The title comes from a interview we did with the
lead singer of a band called The Waggoneers
for the Channel 4 TV series “Big, Big Country”.
He said; “if you play Dwight Yokham
on the sound system I'll “Guaran-damn-tee”
you the dance floor will be full”. I couldn’t resist
writing a song around that word”.
“This is the only track on the CD that could be considered
“Country”. In fact, though, it is in a style called
Western Swing which was very popular in the South Western
states of the USA in the late 1940s and early 50s and
became part of the DNA of Rock’n’Roll. Those guys were
called “Jazzers in cowboy-suits” as they were playing
similar music to the jazz on the East coast but using
violins, steel guitars and accordions instead of brass”.
“Gary Clark, my co-conspirator, recorded
a version in a soul style to show the connections between
the two types of music”.
14. The Man Who Invented Jazz – extended
“It was decided that the short version of this song
was going to be a single so we recorded an extended
version a couple of days later. We'd made the obligatory
video and the director only realised that it was a different
recording when he tried to edit a longer version of
the promo to it and it didn’t match”.
The musicians who made “Pat-a-Cake, Pat-a-Cake” are:
Mark Flanagan (Jools Holland) – guitars
Richie Robertson (Fabulous Poodles)
Jim Russell (Curved Air, Human League)
– drums and percussion
Bobby Valentino: singing, violins,
viola, mandolin and guitar
Martin Belmont (The Rumour, Nick Lowe)
– Guitar on track 5.
B J Cole (Everybody) – Pedal Steel
Guitar & Fender Stringmaster on tracks 11 &
Alan Dunn (Rolf Harris, Bob Geldof)
– Piano Accordion on track 12.
Engineered by George Shilling.
Produced by George Shilling and Bobby
Recorded at Livingston Studios, Woodgreen and Gibson
Wood Studios, Deptford.
Bobby Valentino and band will be playing a number of
dates over the summer to help promote the release of
"Pat-a-Cake,Pat-a-Cake," details will follow.
Available to order at