This blog entry is specifically aimed at Tilt, Burkesworks and Chris Browning, though it may appeal to Andrew Rilstone and Colin Smith (and the rest of you) too.
I was looking through the Wikipedia entry for Terry Jones a couple of hours ago, and discovered something I’d never known before, that he and Michael Palin had written the lyrics for an album of baroque/toytown pop in 1968, Diversions by Barry Booth. It’s out of print now (even the CD release from a few years ago) but I’ve managed to track down a copy on rapidshare. I’m only listening to it for the first time now, but it’s absolutely lovely. Sonically, the closest I can think of to it is the Bee Gees’ Odessa or Robin Gibb’s unreleased Sing Softly Sisters but as if they’d been sung by George Formby. (It sounds quite a lot like Johnny Young & Kompany’s version of Craise Frinton Kirk actually).
Lyrically, it’s Palin and Jones in whimsical mode, rather than vicious, and the result seems to sit somewhere between Neil Innes, Jake Thackray, McCartney in storytelling mode, Something Else era Kinks and groovy 60s film soundtracks, with a strong Yorkshire accent.
I’ve not given a particularly great description here – I’ve only listened to this album once – but you should be able to tell if this is your kind of thing or not. If you’re not sure, here’s a review by Miles Kington from when the reissue came out.