Joyous cult comedy This Is Jinsy comes to an end tonight on Sky Atlantic. The costumes, the guest stars and Justin Chubb and Chris Bran’s scripts and performances have all been rich sources of hilarity, but one element of this glorious comic mish-mash has provided most of the best moments: the songs. Like Flight of the Conchords, This Is Jinsy has a song or two per episode, sometimes in keeping with the theme of the story but often just standing alone.
1. Briiian Raggatan “The Onion Song”
Taking the stage on Sandy’s Choice – Jinsy’s TV talent show, judged by a dog – is fruity shanty man Raggatan, spinning a tale of a blue, mossy thing that looks just like an onion. Amid some rousing headbanging from Justin Chubb as Raggatan’s guitarist, KT Tunstall’s performance as maraca menace Raggatan has bucketloads of natural comic timing.
2. Ren Carby & Hoovard Tuv “Fruit Suit”
Chubb and Bran are evidently Bowie fans: here, the styling (aside from the loganberry cardigans and trousers made of pears) is pure Ziggy Stardust, while the Carnaby Street acoustic jangle of the song is more like Bowie’s ignored 1960s pop. The dancing, however, is unmistakably David Bowie and Mick Jagger doing Dancing in the Street. Shell out for the mp3 to hear an exciting extra verse: “Brian’s in an apricot two-piece swimsuit/Geoffrey’s got a lemon thong…”
3. Hoofan Travelhere Committee “Pipes”
A rather lovely paean to pipework, slightly reminiscent of late-period Velvet Underground or Satellite of Love, but performed by randy plumbers.
4. Melody Lane “Old Brown Corduroys”
Jinsy’s resident folkstress – author of the classic Types of Wood – contributed to the episode where Catherine Tate guested as an obsessive clean freak with this actually, properly good slice of Wicker Man spookiness. There’s some really impressive writing and musicianship here as Old Brown Corduroys manages to be funny (watch for the lovely moment where Melody finally notices that her best friend, Pam, is taking up too much of the limelight) and to evoke listless, wintry domestic inertia: “Every single mug you own is either chipped or slightly stained…”
5. Retch and Hoik “Put in Your Teeth”
Sometimes with This Is Jinsy you have to just sit there and say, “How the hell did they come up with that?” In another episode of Sandy’s Choice, the contestants are two dust-encrusted old men serenading a crone by urging her to wear her wig and dentures. It starts out as a march before changing direction and speed to finish: if you don’t smile at the hand-fart freak-out, there’s no hope for you. We love this so much we’ve controversially included it here at the expense of Licky Licky Licky by Master Croog and Joolian…