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Review: 'Pritchard, Bill'
'Sings Poems By Patrick Woodcock'   

-  Label: 'Tapete Records/Bandcamp'
-  Genre: 'Folk' -  Release Date: '5.5.23.'-  Catalogue No: 'TR532'

Our Rating:
This album is a result of a lockdown email exchange between Canadian poet Patrick Woodcock and British legend Bill Pritchard, the latter of whom over the years has worked with everyone from Francoise Hardy to Pete Docherty, Ian Broudie and Etienne Daho.

The album opens with The Lowering a carefully strummed and enunciated poetic song that's reflective, as he wonders about the people tracking him.

Private bar is about a bar in Sarajevo, which is fact enough to make this intriguing, as to what would happen inside that bar, which set against slow piano lines is apparently an aesthetic crusade, this is full of rich imagery, that raise questions that may or may not be answered before the end of the poem.

Lance isn't about going surfing in Vietnam but does have lots of fishy imagery, set against sepulchral sounds, as they wait for the bell to ring once more, to the rich sounds of Bill's sonorous tones.

Art In G Sharp is obviously better than art in B Flat, as the acoustic guitars accompany this disturbing tale of childhood wonderment, that turns into something a little less than ideal, in a rather wistfully reflective way.

Floe is a bit more experimental musically, the bass doing odd things, before the spoken word vocal comes in, like he's narrating a news broadcast about some terrible things happening on the ice Floe, quite what the Piranha's are doing in such cold water isn't fully explained, but you'll need to hear this a few times to grasp the full impact of both the imagery and the brass section.

Wind is an evocation of the effect the Wind has on the birds as well as on your life, how you react to it leaves you wondering if you need to go back the Caspian Sea once more, strings come in just before an ululating organ played by Bills Daughter Alison.

Electric Typewriter is an ode for a now redundant technology, that my mum refused to embrace, always insisting on using a manual typewriter right up until dad brought home a computer. As much as this poem sees the invention as a gift, not all typists saw it that way, but where would we be now without them, there is a sad air about this song musically.

Grave Men is a wintry tale of death and despair, the words may haunt you long after the music fades away, although the piano line is wonderfully redolent.

Little Ones who apparently look up to him, well they would as he speaks the truth and influences them, so they treasure the moments they spend together and overcome the fear.

Tell is a lyrical panic attack, as he tries to overcome the doom and gloom surrounding him before suggesting you drink as if approaching god.

The album closes with Balcony a slow piano eulogy for the victims of another wintry tragedy, slowly unfurling with the spoken word as the music builds to ultimate climax.

Find out more at https://www.tapeterecords.de/artists/bill-pritchard

https://www.facebook.com/billpritchardofficial https://billpritchard.bandcamp.com/album/sings-poems-by-patrick-woodcock?label=892897274&tab=music

  author: simonovitch

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