TIME IS A BUFFALO IN THE ART OF WAR
Quality Contemporary Post Punk Angst For Middle Aged Rockers in 2019.
Andy White has been on my radar for a few years now, but I don’t think I’ve ever got around to actually penning words about his albums …….. his last release, The Guilty & The Innocent sat around for a few weeks before getting relegated to the Big Box Of Earthly Delights at the back of the RMHQ Office; probably never to see the light of day again. I remember there being nothing to dislike about it; so I guess there were other albums that piqued my interest around that time.
Apologies Mr. White.
On the other hand, the stars have actually aligned in his favour this week as a combination of health issues, a couple of political arguments and the 3rd anniversary of fellow Belfast Boy, Bap Kennedy’s passing have meant that I was sorely in need of some Contemporary Post Punk angst …… and the rest!
Last Train comes out of the station in one Hell of a rush; with White’s rye observational lyrics catching the attention and sticking in the brain long after the song has finished.
For the second time in as many days I’m liking a song with a sweary word key to the heart of the song. When The Shit Hits The Fan is certainly a ‘song for our times’; almost Musical Theatre in construction and delivery; White challenges the current socio-political and even right of centre religious divides many of us find ourselves embroiled in on a day to day basis, not least his native Northern Ireland. Not just an intelligent song but very accessible too courtesy of some sublime guitar playing and an almost Presbyterian keyboard backing.
It didn’t take me long to realise that this was a very ‘grown up’ album indeed; the individual subject matter may be ‘normal’; but the way White writes you discover things you never thought about love, life and the world we find ourselves in.
Even on Friday Night it’s no normal drink, dance, fight/f*ck lineage; this is a fascinating and interesting song that reminded me of the claustrophobic Indie Rock Sound Bap Kennedy’s band Energy Orchard trademarked many years ago; only Andy White has dusted it off and added extra piss and vinegar, as he revisits the Town of his youth.
With hindsight, and after 20 previous albums in various guises and numerous co-writes with many of our favourite RMHQ artistes; Andy White is a clever and articulate storyteller. Fire Engines, Blue Trains and Trucks finds White at the piano and begins in a cute way drawing the listener in, until the story takes a dark turn when the child who once played with the toys in the title finds himself fascinated with watching smart bombs exploding on the TV News and suddenly all innocence is lost forever.
Ain’t that the truth!
Be under no illusion Armageddon #4 isn’t the happy clappy, sing-along tune you might think it will be (?????), nope …….. this is a 21st Century Folk Song that owes much to the ancestry of Woody, Bob, Joni and more recently Billy; and my world is a lot better for knowing Andy White and I are on the same wavelength here.
Even White’s token love song, Everyone’s Gone to France ends with:
“Why would you come here
Why would you come here, if not for romance
Everyone looks for love.”
For my Favourite Track I’m going for One In a Million; OK – not many laughs; but that’s the mood I’m in today, and this darkly beautiful song about loneliness in the heart of the city, ticks every box I have; and the edgy melody and groove sort of reminds me of The Walker Brothers and current RMHQ fave’s Curse of Lono too.
I had a lot of albums to choose from to write about today; but Andy White’s songs have strangely cheered me up; if only because he has felt like a kindred spirit in a world where they are hard to find.