Wild Mercury Sound

Simon Finn, Alexander Tucker, Voice Of The Seven Woods, Espers, Pink Floyd - and The White Stripes!

John Mulvey

Still waiting for that Phil Collins fan to post a defence of his hero. But in the meantime, Paul Holmes has joined in bashing "Tory Frog Prince Collins". "One half-decent Genesis tune, some so-so work on a John Martyn record and a clutch of Sunny D Motown rip-offs doth not a canon make," he writes. Fair point. Thanks also to Chads, who responded to our talk of Bill Fay the other day by mentioning Simon Finn, another neglected, quasi-mystic British singer-songwriter from the early '70s who, like Fay, was redicovered by Current 93's David Tibet. I must dig out his "Pass The Distance" album, which I haven't played in ages, though I seem to remember some of it being a bit quirky for my taste.

Chads also mentions Alexander Tucker, an excellent Folk/drone guitarist who I've forgotten to mention here before (and whose old hardcore band, Unhome, I used to see a lot, too). He came to mind last night, too, when I was watching Voice Of The Seven Woods play. I blogged about VOT7W's forthcoming album here, though I got some stuff wrong: he's a solo artist from Manchester, rather than a band from London.

Sorry about that. The gig was very good, anyway. He's called Richard Tomlinson, and he plays solo guitar - often in the vein of John Fahey - but occasionally uses a bunch of delays to knit up a thicker sound similar to how Alex Tucker works. Like Six Organs Of Admittance, there's also a nice disparity between the brackish, devotional music and Tomlinson's droll, self-deprecating banter. Good show.

Tomlinson was supporting Espers, who were great too, actually. My friend Aidan referred to one track as "Venus In Folk", but they seem to be playing down the VU drones a little tonight, which makes them resemble Fairport Convention - the Fairports of "Autopsy" and "Genesis Hall", especially - even more.

Meg Baird sang beautifully, and I must write something about her forthcoming solo album soon. But I spent most of the night watching the gangling electric guitarist Greg Weeks, who played tiny and delicate noises with a lot of sustain and rock'n'roll drama. He reminded me a lot of one of my favourite guitarists, Michio Kurihara, who I mentioned here. Kurihara is coming to the UK soon with Ghost, which should be amazing, but I was most reminded of a show I saw years ago when he played with Damon & Naomi (who never get the credit they deserve for pioneering a lot of the current acid-folk stuff). Still, lovely gig.

A couple more things. First,Vegetable Friends emailed me with a petition to try and get "Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" reissued in mono, as it was originally designed to be heard. I must admit that I don't have the ears to make out these distinctions, but you can sign up here if you're interested.

Secondly, the new White Stripes single, "Icky Thump" leaked onto the internet yesterday, in all its thumping, fidgety, multi-faceted glory. I'm not sure about the ethics of linking to dodgy MP3s, but it's easy to find. And if you missed my album preview, it's here. Enjoy. . .


Editor's Letter

Revealed: The New Issue Of Uncut…

For many of us who came of age in the mid '80s, The Smiths probably provided the soundtrack to a political maturing as much as an emotional one. My epochal moment of teenage rebellion came on July 23, 1986, a day I had strategically reserved for the purchase of The Queen Is Dead, so as to...