Les Barker & various artists,
Missing Persians File:
Guide Cats for the Blind, Vol. 2

(Osmosys, 2005)

How often can you aid a charity and at the same time have the laugh of your life? Les Barker is one of the better poets of the absurd still writing today, and once again he turns that amazing talent to helping others. The charity in question works to provide computers for the blind, reminding us how the modern technology of computers and voice technology can help people in need. They can communicate by e-mails read out by the computer voice software -- what a leap forward!

The first CD was released in 2003 and has raised substantial monies for the British Computer Association of the Blind.

As for the new CD, you get 22 tracks, combining both songs and poems from the fertile Barker mind. These range from parodies to original pieces, but all are united in being funny and, sometimes, quite profound.

The line-up of performers is very much British, but the humour is universal.

You may be familiar with Rudyard Kipling's "If," but the contribution here from Joss Ackland and Peter Bayliss is somewhat altered. Barker's "The Stealth Comma" is a poem for us pedants about the use and misuse of language. Folk supreme Tom Paxton makes an appearance with a wonderful parody called "Will the Turtle Be Unbroken," with Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer. Steve Tilston comes in with "Dipsticks & Seals." And Barker's love of language gives us another great track called "Non Sequitors," performed by the Roger Lloyd Pack.

Seek out this album if you have a funny bone, if you want to help others, if you love language or if you just like to hear something different.

by Nicky Rossiter
29 July 2006

Buy the CD from Amazon.com.

[ visit the British Computer Association of the Blind website ]