121 - The Coldest Winter for a Thousand Years by The Wild Swans 2011
Paul Simpson has been making music in various guises since the late 70s. From the Teardrop Explodes through to Care and various line ups of the Wild Swans he has made some fantastic records although the lps have flattered a bit to deceive. However out of the blue last year came his masterpiece.
It starts with a rallying cry in Falling to Bits
"from the checkout girl to the 14th earl are you with me
from the lifeboat crew to the theatre queue are you with me"
and ends with a despairing cry against town planners and the relentless supermarket march in Bluebell Wood
In between we have a state of the nation address that covers the where we are as a country in the William Blake like English Electric Lightning as well as the personal in the reflections on mortality and family.
All to the backing of top pop tunes , sweeping keyboards , jangling guitars and Simpson's rich vocals together which add up to a record that touches the emotions much more than I'd ever expect and gets better each time I hear it
Lost at Sea - The Wild Swans
Just to confuse matters the band also have recorded a spoken word track the Coldest Winter that doesn't appear on the lp. I've posted it as it captures a time in Liverpool where so many of the bands I liked were about to be born (a kind of tribute to the bunnymen's fantastic drummer Pete De Freitus who died so tragically before his time)
You can buy Coldest Winter here
On a completely separate note just bought the new Deacon Blue lp - the Hipsters early signs are that it is a classic - you can get it here