Occasionally an album comes out that captures perfectly my frame of mind whether its an introspect or reflects views on the world around and Fever Dream does just that. Cracking album choc full of terrific songs, ace restrained guitar playing and fine lyrics. He;s on at the Trades club later this year as well
Could pick any tracks but this is beautiful
Or the title track,
Been looking forward to this gig for a while now.
Once again at the Hebden Bridge Trades Club that has established itself as one of the best venues around. A real music loving cooperative feel to rival the Brudenell. Once again we did our duty supporting local businesses recovering from the floods especially in Callums micro bar where the call of duty was especially strong.
Just caught the back end of Michelle Stoddarts set, her of former Magic Numbers "fame". A tad too sinewy for us so we tarried in the bar a while slagging football off as man city and manu played pretend footy on the telly.
Ben came on with just his double bass player for the first song before the rest of the band joined them. They proceeded to deliver what for me was nigh on the perfect gig.
Ive only ever had half an ear on the lad, not even recognising him in his Band Everything but the girl who i found mildly entertaining. His previous solo material leading up to this years stunning Fever Dream album has been good but all paths for me have led to this album. My favourite new album of 2016 i have to say. He's about the same age as me and from what i know has a lot of the same influences and outlook so i just seem to have dovetailed straight into it's themes mood and form.
Live, the songs take on a slightly different hue mainly due to the restrained but perpetual enhancement of Bernard Butler's guitar. The controlled strangled distortion of his Gibson Es355 punches through the often bleak narrative of the songs with sympathetic verve and melody. He'll occasionally cut in with a searing tastfull solo or ride the song out on a crescendo of tone backed by the other musicians who clearly understand and love the songs. He and Ben are a perfect combo and Ben tells a nice story of how they met. In fact Ben has a lovely low key rapport with the crowd throughout the set.
The set itself includes songs from throughout Ben's 35 years of performing (albeit fractured musically with some other diversions) and its clear, to me anyway that he has peaked this year and hopefully go on. "Spring" from 2014's "Henda" album hinted at what was to come and was introduced by Ben as a kind of breakthrough in his writing. Its the latest songs that do it for me and almost all of Fever Dream was played. "Gradually" had Bernard mellowing his tone. "Bricks" and Wood" seemed hauntingly autumnal and "New Year of Grace at the back end of the set was almost tearful in its melancholy. "Running with the front runners" was tinged with a hint of 80's jazz but grooved beautifully and "Winter's Eve" especially showcased Bernard's brilliant restrained accompaniment. " There's still so much i want to do and the winter is a gateway through" croons Ben with subtle optimism. I can't wait for it.
Ta! Might have a listen - I liked most that Everything but the Girl put out.