The Penguin Party / Blog

Penguin Gods Of Rock !

Well not really , but we are on fire at the moment ! The Gig at the Railway Hotel was breathtakingly fab and indeed groovy ! There was even a Vivian look a like !! So if you are anywhere near one of our performances soon , stop everything and come along !

It's sunny !! Lovely people !

It's sunny !! And Penguin thoughts are all about you lovely people ! Soon we will again be out and about bringing a smile to your faces and a rhythm in your hearts ! Look at live dates and come along to see us , learn the words and sing along and there might be prizes !!

Thank the Lord January is over !

We've all been very ill throughout January , Dave's even been in Hospital !! But we are on the mend now ! Even at deaths door we still did some recording for the acoustic ep and started writing new stuff !!! All we can say is it's a bit country !!!!


The Penguin Party had a ball sharing a stage with the MIGHTY Pause last night (not at the same time, you understand...that would've been chaos...) at Asylum, Chelmsford (A great little club....check it out!)

Pause were transcendent. A the risk of using a word the young people over use, they were literally awesome. It was all I could do to physically restrain The Penguin Party from taking to the stage in their excellent, recently acquired Pause T-Shirts! (Get one today, folks!)

The Sarah Holburn Band were absolute class! Every time I see them they get better and better! If you haven't seen 'em for a while, check 'em out soon, before they get famous and we can't afford tickets

TONIGHT! Following our storming set last night, The Penguin Party's Tour Of Chelmsford continues as we become the last ever band to play The St Anne's Castle....

Come and give one of Essex's most dedicate live pubs the send off it deserves!

Music starts at about 8pm; we're on at 10.

FREE ENTRY! Proper beer!

Review from www.toxicpete.co.uk

Penguin Party is the new project from musical all-rounder Dave Milligan (Arco), with a little help from a few friends; 'See Thru Songs' is an album packed full of typically British pop charm, a quirky but stylish, funtime work that's like a cross-over between Difford/Tillbrook, Kevin Ayers and Robert Wyatt - the classic observational pop writing of the former pairing, the sparkling light-rock individuality of the inbetweeny and the uniqueness and vocal acrobatics of the latter. Quite a combination, quite a blend, quite a strangely-strange but oddly-normal coming together! Hey, it works though! Milligan aka Penguin Party makes smart pop music; his writing is naively intelligent (if that makes sense) and his scores are beautifully and sensitively crafted to colour the poetic lyrics, to emphasise, to adorn and enhance rather than clutter or choke down on the refreshingly individualistic but mature words. Milligan tends to keep it all quite low-key preferring light jangly guitars, expressive keys and militaristic percussive beats to add just the right amount of clever playfulness and hookiness to the mix. Left-field pop maybe but certainly on the brighter side of the odd-ball fence; that's 'brighter' as in somewhat more joyous rather than totally uplifting cuz Penguin Party's music aint actually cheery and all bright whistles and bells, oh no, it can be thought provoking and evocative as much as it can be childlike and coy. 'See Thru Songs' by Penguin Party is a strange but nicely rewarding album; it's well conceived, superbly written and beautifully performed and Milligan certainly puts a bit of fun back into the pop world - well, at least this album puts a smile on yer face purely for its quirkiness if nothing else!! Quite whether 'See Thru Songs' has the ability to be a true hit I'm not at all sure - perhaps Penguin Party will prove to be just too clever for the fickle record buying public, perhaps 'See Thru Songs' will be just too individualistic and too 'grown up' to be a hit - perhaps Penguin Party is destined to remain a cult act and 'See Thru Songs' an 'underground' album. Who knows, Penguin Party sure is an interesting concept/project and 'See Thru Songs' is an enjoyable and fascinating work; pop for pop's sake, good, old fashioned, honest-to-goodness, simplistic pop music, no frills, no big statements, no excuses, and really no surprises - just beautifully crafted, melodic songs that err on the gentler and cosseting side of the pop spectrum. Peter J Brown www.toxicpete.co.uk


"Just like all well written pop you will find yourself singing these songs at highly inappropriate moments"


"..cooler than a real penguin's party...": review in Blogcritics Magazine

Music Review: Penguin Party - See Thru Songs Blogcritics Magazine http://blogcritics.org/archives/2008/10/23/072403.php Written by Jeff Perkins Published October 23, 2008

Arco attracted my attention when I saw the name Martin Newell listed among their influences. Martin is a musician, writer, poet, critic, author, and all round talented guy. His slightly eccentric style has produced albums of the quality of The Greatest Living Englishman and The Off White Album. Another word often used, even by himself, to describe his style is jangly.

Just down the road from Martin in Wivenhoe, Essex is Dave Milligan. Dave was one third of the band Arco. As you may recall, they have released several studio EPs and albums and hopefully more will be on its way. Dave meanwhile has been busy with a side project. Enter Penguin Party.

Penguin Party’s CD See Thru Songs (Sitting Target Music, September 2008) taps into his love of not only Martin Newell, but also early Squeeze and Nick Lowe. The album contains some of the most instantly accessible pop you will hear this year. The result is cooler than a real penguin’s party.

Comparisons have been made to the song writing of Messrs Difford and Tillbrook of Squeeze, and you can easily understand why. Penguin Party and See Thru Songs is more quintessentially British than fish and chips, red phone boxes, or six pints of bitter on a wet Saturday night down the pub.

Slightly quirky and individualistic, it is also engagingly charming. One reviewer has used the word ‘spangly’; I only wish I had thought of it first. Dave Milligan taps into a rich heritage of British pop to produce a memorably tuneful, instantly absorbing, collection of See Thru Songs.

“United State Of Grace” is a superbly written stand out track. “Here Be The Chorus” is pure Squeeze. We also see Arco’s “Lullaby” being revisited and given a little more of an up-tempo feel.

“Beaten Black And Blue” slopes along smoothly with lyrics that absorb. “Mirrorball” opens with the intriguing line, "Sometimes I don’t reflect in mirrors". From that moment, it literally reels you in. It is fair to say that lurking within the album are cleverly constructed lyrics about all manner of human experiences.

“Goin’ Back To Grandma’s” is a quirky sing along. “Before I Go Away” seduces and delights. The album ends with “I’m Ready For My Close-up Now Mr Demille”. It is a track that has Mr. Newell himself enthusing, "Jangle indeed. Great stuff!"

See Thru Songs is a highly enjoyable trip through Dave Milligan’s slant on British pop. Well written, nicely balanced, and understated.

‘Jangly’, or even, ‘Spangly’. Either way, let’s just say it works.

A new review for the Penguin Party from DOA

From Delusions Of Adequacy: http://www.adequacy.net/review.php?reviewID=8930 Dave Milligan, one-half of the UK indie band arco, has embarked on a side project he's dubbed Penguin Party. Mainly a solo project, written and produced by Milligan, he steps away from arco's slow-core rock and into more upbeat and quirky pop-rock territory with the help of a few guest musicians, including the other half of arco, Chris Healey. With a decidedly British flair, Penguin Party prove they can play stylistic pop-rock tunes using numerous instruments, varied influences and genre-hopping arrangements, along with their own musical talents, similar to the likes of Squeeze, Of Montreal and The Santiago Steps. Milligan and Co. adorn their naive melodies with blotches of beats and snappy electric guitar bursts, some with angular tempos and brisk beats, occasionally building textural tapestries with soft touches of percussion and keyboard washes accented with various electronic drones. Waves of swirling synths flutter over light guitar strumming, creating sweet sounding, semi-psychedelic melodies

Penguin Party at the Edinburgh Festival!

There are PENGUINS IN THE POOL... Comedian Liz Bentley used 2 Penguin Party tracks as part of her fringe show "Edinburgh-On-Sea". You can see "Someone Else's Turn To Be Me" performed as a synchronised swimming routine at her pre-festival gig in Camberwell here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VO8_fheY-NA It's also available on the player on the main page.


this from http://www.leicesterbangs.co.uk/may08-18.html Penguin Party - See Thru Songs (Sitting Target) With an unmistakable ‘out-of-its-time’ production and songs which bring to mind classic Nick Lowe and Squeeze, See Thru Songs is a diverting flashback to early ‘80s Britpop. Songwriter Dave Milligan (of Arco fame) leads us through a collection of sticky hooks, quirky arrangements and choruses that insist on taking up residence, and repeated whenever one is in the proximity of running water (you’ll be singing these songs in the shower). Old synths and treated guitars fill up the gaps, and like the best pop, you’re life will mostly remain unaltered and governments definitely won’t fall, but sun-drenched drives in the country, with the windows down, will be enhanced. www.sittingtarget.net Rob F.