Thursday 29 July 2021

Love is Here/ Starsailor (2001): Albums of my Life: an A-Z

  being 16 or 17 and this album just becoming part of my world. I owned it on CD and was starting to branch out a little from my beloved R n B/ Soul music interests into an indie direction. This album was suitably moody for my young sensibilities and James Walsh's voice stood out to me-- it still does, in fact.

The single 'Alcoholic' immediately drew me in with its piano accompaniment and dismal lyrics (fodder for inward-looking folk); the harmonies and arrangements spoke to me too and made Starsailor stand out from other groups of a similar ilk. As the years passed, I loved their others earlier albums such as 'Silence is Easy' and 'On the Outside', possibly enjoying some of the tracks on them even more than their debut. Despite that, 'Love is Here' is where it started and there's a vibe about it that takes me right back to 2001 and all of the mixed emotions of that time for me.

Sunday 4 July 2021

Kill the Wolf/ Matt Berry (2013): Albums of my Life: an A-Z

   having a family barbecue back home one Summer. It must have been 2008, a truly significant year for me. I was due to start my new job, beginning the career I had trained for; a few months before I had experienced a tough break up; I was living alone back in Hampshire and getting to grips with it all. At the barbecue, my brother put on this unusual prog album complete with a rich-voiced narrator overlaying some of the tracks. That voice belonged to comic actor, Matt Berry, and the album was 'Opium'.

I had loved the IT Crowd and it really tickled me that the hilarious 'Reynholm' would suddenly manifest himself onto an experimental prog album in our garden in Kent! The music was oddly infectious and I found myself wanting to hear more when I was back in Hampshire, so I hastily bought a copy of the album on CD. As my interest and love of this album grew, my fascination with Matt did too. I sought out more of his more obscure comedy work, from 'Garth Marenghi's Darkplace' (a parody 80s style hospital drama/ horror series) to 'AD/BC: A Rock Opera' (a comedy musical written by Berry and Richard Ayoade). In addition, I was charmed by his real life, low key and humble persona in interviews-- a far cry from his larger than life characters.