mike davies column october 2020


Having posted his 12-part a series of experimental pieces, Birdwater, online (www.channelsmaychange.com) over the past year, FYFE DANGERFIELD now puts in appearance on The Place Where You Are (PinDrop), a digital single from Oxford-based Swedish singer Julia Meijer. An atmospheric, spacey number with prominent drums and electric guitar riffs, the rhythm’s designed to echo the lyric about waves washing her out to sea and her absent lover, there’s actually no indication of what he actually plays, but, hey. It’s worth a mention.

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Sad news to hear of the passing of DAVE KUSWORTH who died in his sleep the other week, just a few months after turning 60. I first encountered him writing for this column back in the day as part of TV Eye with Andy Wickett and Dave Twist, subsequently going on to front The Hawks/Subterranean Hawks with Twist and Stephen Duffy, be part of Dogs D’Amour, head up The Tenderhooks, found The Bounty Hunters and join Nikki Sudden as Jacobites as well as his assorted solo releases. Adopting a similar gypsy troubadour look to Keith Richards and Faces era Rod Stewart with his wasted, sleaze glam look, his music, and especially his guitar work, could be raw and ragged but also heartstoppingly beautiful, although there always seemed a kind of fuck you self-destructive streak to his career that likely prevented him from becoming the rock star he should have been.

He leaves behind a legacy of some wonderful if largely little known songs, most notably so among them Next Tuesday, All The Heartbreak Stories, Pin Your Heart To Me, Shame For The Angels and Dandelion Boy. Most of his albums are still available, either physically or digitally, so if you wonder what all the fuss is about track them down and you’ll see.

KATY ROSE BENNETT releases her best of/introduction to collection Where Does It Hurt, gathering together a selection of material from past albums. She reaches back to her 2002 debut, All Calm In Dreamland, for End of the Day then skips the follow-up, Bluebird, to alight on 2008’s Indelible Ink for I Like You Like Me and Girl With The Sad Shoes. With the recent In The Meantime offering the tender leaving song Did You See, the remainder of the previously released material comes from Songs of the River Rea The first under her full name) with four songs, Cold November Day, piano ballad One More Time, Jack & Ivy, and the skitteringly infectious Gracelands-ish One Day.

The title track is an all new number, a softly sung, slowly waltzing and violin coloured strummed acoustic ballad written after listening to an interview with veteran American civil rights campaigner Ruby Sales, the title reflecting on her belief of empathy and understanding as a way of getting to the heart of an issue, as well as Brene Brown who researches and writes about shame and vulnerability, and her own work as a music therapist. On a personal note, I’d have included Rusted Ring too, but if, for some inexplicable reason, you’ve yet to discover here, this is a perfect launch pad.

cage park

Quite taken with Kitchen Floor, a dose of snotty pop punk leavened with a dose of rub reggae from CAGE PARK


and also Star Chasing from JAY TENNANT, a driving post-punk affair with some relentless drums and a circling electric guitar pattern that fuels the urgency of the rhythms.

roots-and-branches.com 2020