Second compilation gleaned from the cupboards of erstwhile Beta Band man and current member of Fife's oddball Fence Collective
Compared with the other eccentric loners cum lost souls whose creative company he keeps?Syd Barrett, Brian Wilson, Ivor Cutler?Gordon Anderson is quite the pack animal. He was a member of the original Beta Band (then The Pigeons) and responsible for penning “Dry The Rain”, but recurring bouts of mental ill-health forced him to quit and return to Fife. He lives there now, recording under the alias of Lone Pigeon as part of that shire’s Fence Collective, a loose but vibrant community of creatives that includes Anderson’s brother Kenny (aka King Creosote), James Yorkston and UNPOC.
Despite such alliances, Lone Pigeon is a fiercely independent musical voyager, stretching the shared Fence idea of what might constitute psychedelic pop to its limits. And then some. Schoozzzmmii is his second album, compiled from four-track recordings made at roughly the same time as his 2002 debut, Concubine Rice. Consequently, it’s a case of business as (un)usual. The tracks are again sonic fragments rather than songs, eschewing conventional structure in favour of intensity of atmosphere and emotional depth but, despite its DIY origins and almost hallucinatory feel, this is a peach of a pop record.
Lone Pigeon has claimed he’d like to work “with Dylan on vocalising my lyrics and Brian Wilson on arranging my harmonies”, and, indeed, the spirits of both hover near Schoozzzmmii. From the opening “Boat”, fragments of which also appear on Concubine Rice and whose folksy warmth comes via Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, through the clanging guitar chords of “Brown Cow” to the darkly compulsive “Pikashoo”, a touching fragility is central. The record’s temper and tone ranges widely (Lone Pigeon is understandably a fan of The Beatles’ White Album, but you’d never have reckoned on After The Gold Rush or Definitely Maybe), yet it never fails to convince. It’s no surprise that the most poignant tracks here?the Johnny Cash-like “Solo Traveller” and the tremulous “Lonely Vagabond”?reveal Lone Pigeon as one of life’s solo fliers. Here’s to another of his wonderful flights of fancy.