Category Archives: Sixth June

I forgive you Frankie. I forgive you none

Featuring : Lonnie Donegan + Sixth June

Researcher Rusty David, of St. Louis, suggests that while the details of the current ballad support the Frankie Baker/Allen Britt story, in fact the ballad predates this murder, and describes a killing that took place in the same red-light district of St. Louis sometime around 1865-70. When the Baker/Britt killing took place, according to David, the earlier ballad was modified to fit the new events.


Lonnie Donegan lived long enough (and stayed famous enough in the UK) to put future generations off uncovering the roots of his enduring success.  But there it was, just waiting there in all its Skiffle glory, well hidden by TV specials and ill judged sweaters.  Resurrected from its US slumber roughly 50 years after it’d passed into obscurity, Skiffle had the whiff of the proletariat in its improvised instruments and blues roots.  So much so that John Lennon was all over it and what more endorsement does a working class movement need than the embrace of the middle class.

But back to Donegan.

It’s the 50s.  Playing in newly opened Soho cafe basements Donegan was banging them out to an admiring audience of future rock and folk royalty.  Or so the story goes.  I couldn’t really care less about that.  After hearing his version of Frankie and Johnny all I can think of is the unhinged, wall-bouncing madness that propels him through this song…and probably off a few of those cellar walls.

Lonnie Donegan – Frankie And Johnny

There are many versions of Frankie and Johnny; it’s been around long enough.  Few though take the identification of the murderous Frankie to the edges of performance like Donegan does in his version.  As the song builds so Donegan’s voice ratchets up, note by note, bar by bar to a barely comprehensible scream.  It’s exhausting stuff and as exhilarating as any Carl Craig build.  Yet unlike the glorious structural dance music that would follow 30 odd years later, there was no release, no wind down, no mix point; only the end of the song and death.

Our friends at Mennequin Records passed us this video for the fully-endorsed-on-these-candy-coloured-pages Sixth June.  A pitch perfect vision of their effortless synthwave which, at points, deadpans a DIY version of the Umbrellas of Chebourg.  Their EP from earlier this year is still available to buy here.

Gooey Analytics

Over the last handful of months, Mannequin records have experienced double-digit rates of growth in the impossible market exchange for hot record labels peddling beautiful and corrupted synth-wave. Having had privileged access to the fine output from Sixth June, the latest addition to Mannequin’s repertoire, your 1980s oversized spectacle wearing 20jazzfunkgreats Wail Street analyst has but one recommendation to make regarding their stock: BUY BUY BUY.

Sixth June – Back for a Day

Their Back For A Day EP is a relentless killstreak of emotional sniping across the ravaged structures of an industrial state surrounded by a psychic iron curtain that no imbalances in trade or shortfalls in productivity could ever bring down. In the title track, a sleek and stripped down italo cyborg that should make Soft Metals feel in good company, they provide an alternative soundtrack for Snake Plissken’s gliding NYC infiltration, if only his mission was not just about death and freedom, but also love.

20jazzfunkgreats don’t get any more emotionally invested on record labels than it is the case with NYC’s finest, IGETRVNG. Matt RVNG reports that they have a new Pink Skull album on the way that is ‘a fucking mind rub’. Any sceptics out there seeking for validation need but go and check out the preliminary EP, Bee Nose (Put Yr Face in), feat. the ‘Paper Rad’ reimagining of a Cthonian god boss fight micro-epic original, and remixes by the mighty Brassica and Ace of Spies.

Pink Skull – Bee Nose (Brassica Remix)

The former keeps it down-tempo and ‘carnivalesque in a Coney Island fucked up dubby way’ in his remix, which is of course happy times for the 20jazzfunkgreats fam, especially when the creepy rasta clown posse slips out from the shadows to do some weird capoeira/kabuki style satanic theatre performance of hypnotic dynamics & unfathomable semiotics.

(Sweet poster by Chris Seddon)

Brassica will be one of the features of 20jazzfunkgreats The Great Escape times at Brighton’s Green Door Store on Thursday. The cosmos will be kept from tipping into darkness by our very favourite Echo Lake. We will be skating the thin line between ying and yang with some cool records. Get down & say hi.

There are some other super bands playing at the festival, not least Gatekeeper, Laurel Halo, Mazes, Prize Pets, Planningtorock and Gang Gang Dance. We’ll be at the front row of all these shows, even if they clash, because we have awesome powers.

If you are in London on Friday, do get down to the ICA for the above, as organised by our very best comrade Ashley Marlowe.