IF I Monster’s Jarrod Gosling isn’t cutting tracks in the electro-duo’s Nether Edge studio he’s probably sat at home, making satirical sketches about rock and pop’s history.
Gosling, along with I Monster collaborator and songwriter Mike Somerset, has created a collection of witty images accompanied with surreal snippets of text.
Gosling actually trained as graphic designer and is the brains behind the psychedelic artwork that’s integral to I Monster’s unique image – one that was kick-started by their 2001 hit, Daydream in Blue. But his latest project looks at music in a different way – satirically.
“We’ve got Engelbert Humperdink competing with Tom Jones to get to the South Pole – a skit on Captain Scott’s famous expedition to the South Pole in 1912 and the Rolling Stones trapped in a can of baked beans – a take on the famous Who cover.”
The sketch National Geographic Explorers of Showbiz No 3 shows a distraught Engelbert. “Jonesey’s cache of bras and knickers confirm Hump’s worst fears,’ reads the headline. “When Englebert Humperdink, he of the swarthy good looks, joined the ill-fated Terry Wogan expedition (1967-89) to the Antartic he was astounded and dishearted to discover they had been beaten to the Pole by his rival, the Welshman Tom Jones.”
Other images include Simon and Garfunkel in a shoe tree, with Simon saying: “Hey Art. I had the weirdest dream last night. We were a multi platinum-selling close harmony folk duo instead of shoe trees,” to which Art replies: “Quiet Paul, Mrs Robinson will hear us.”
The interplay between text and image works well. But it’s part of a slick system – Gosling does the sketches on to computer and sends them to Somerset, who then writes the words.
“It started off as something to upload on to the I Monster Facebook page, to keep it going. ‘Jarrod’s making a cup of tea’ got a bit boring so I started posting the sketches and then more and more people started clicking ‘like’ and it grew from there really,” says Gosling. “There’s no end to the stuff you could do.”
Somerset is at no loss for lyrical ideas, either. The songwriter, based in Sheffield, has written all the short stories for I Monster’s forthcoming album, a cautionary tales-style release comprised of various short stories, some sinister, some surreal. Somerset describes it as “an album of strange tales of junior vampires, lonely tree houses and boys who turn yellow.”
But for now, the lyricist is busy penning witty anecdotes for Gosling’s strange, pseudo newspaper cartoon sketches.
Gosling and Somerset will publish the sketches as a collection in a book but until then they will be showcasing a sketch every week on the Sheffield Telegraph’s rock and pop page, starting next week.