In which a motley bunch of ’60s and ’70s [a]Faces[/a] (ie, gangsters) take us on a shuffle down memory lane with the help of executive producer [a]Tricky[/a]. Armed with a MiniDisc recorder, [a]Tricky[/a] cohort Gareth Bowen visited 11 mad-as-a-lorry outlaw blag veterans including the likes of Tony Lambrianou, Freddie Foreman and, of course, the capo of the literary mobster confessional of broke and tired old crims, the ubiquitous ‘Mad’ Frankie Fraser himself.
Seemingly succeeding where the Met’s finest have failed, Bowen makes monkeys out of the Sweeney by getting his subjects to sing like canaries about their Jag XK1 driving, leg-breaking antics. Unfortunately, for the most part the tired, wheezy musical accompaniment sounds like it’s consumed too much Scotch and Embassy No1 down the snooker club. In this respect, ‘Product Of The Environment’, musically at least, stitches the interviewees up like a kipper.
[a]Tricky[/a] obviously fancies himself as something of a player, and by assembling this bunch of arthritic old villains he’s continuing with his project of making us scared of him. Meanwhile, the [I]Loaded [/I]old rogue dollar has rewritten career briefs for these superannuated villains as poets and novelists, so [a]Tricky[/a]’s not alone. Which could be why it’s all just got a bit boring.
And another thing. Isn’t it all a bit long-haired and noncey to be making records anyway?