Admiral Fallow

Listening now to Chris Tye’s latest EP release, ‘Matchbox Stand’ (and very splendid it is indeed) evokes long past lonely solo support slots at The Railway, Curzon Street. Now sadly, a long gone venue playing host to countless local bands of both fame and misfortune – often both.

One Sixth Of Tommy
One Sixth Of Tommy

Even then, it was manifestly apparent that these were the distillations of the owner of a lonely heart destined to share both its tribulations and celebrations with sometimes brittle, invariably evocative songs of crafted, incisive candor. Life’s troubling iniquities and confused innocence infuse his indie-folk lyricism twinned with a voice of unaffected splendour and measured off-beat phrasing recalling early Loudon Wainwright’s bleeding heart confessionals written in neon flickering motel bedrooms.

The Chris Tye Band
The Chris Tye Band

Together with a five-piece band of no mean musicianship, Chris show-cased a medley of numbers from the afore-mentioned EP. No doubt honing them (as if needed!) ready for the weekend’s Lunar Festival gig. ‘New York’ lead in with a plaintive minor-key bass line complimented by a subtle C&W slide-guitar that evoked nuances of Simon & Garfunkle’s ‘Bleecker Street’. ‘Walking’ sashayed cooly to a Rhodes piano/funky bass Cajun refrain whilst ‘Forever’ was a slow-tempo Floydian dream-weaver that shivered with echoes of confused ghosts trapped within windswept telegraph wires hurrying nowhere. There’s a surprising diversion as they cover Bowie’s ‘Letter To Hermione’ with smokey-jazz vibraphone and the set closer was ‘Be With You’ with its kick-drum/acoustic guitar drone tensions and climatic crescendo of joy. And, just if, Rumer gets to hear any of this – then that’s most of her third covers album sorted already. Much better stick to the originals.

Admiral Fallow

Admiral Fallow are admirable fellows (and a lass) to be sure and the comfortably full Hare were savvy sure with many of their previous materials’ lyrics. A smooth blend of contemporary Glaswegian eclectic/electric Celtic Folk was enhanced by some haunting harmonies, not least with the acapella ‘Four Bulbs’. The enchanting counter-play between clarinet and flute made for an all smiles and couples hugging jollily along. ‘Subbuteo’ had its darker moments with a martial percussive beat and austere gunfire closing drum-rolls. ‘Beetle In the Box’ was mightily engaging particularly for its cheeky nod to Wreckless Eric’s ‘Whole Wide World’. And, strangely enough we had ‘Isn’t This World Enough’ with its Tex/Mex Waterboys swagger inviting the punters to a chorus sing along – in A Major to be precise.

‘So love this vessel while you’re aboard
There will be no deposit back from a cosmic landlord.’

Scansions a bit wobbly but a noble sentiment as we witness this weeks guest dictator wreaking carnage with weapons supplied by more civilized democracies.

Admiral Fallow
Admiral Fallow

One Sixth Of Tommy’s ‘harmonies drenched in wistfulness’ are disarmingly catchy and what a treat it is to see and hear a most personable lady musician playing acoustic bass guitar. Not so sure about the Fleetwood Mac cover but one had to admire their honesty during the very new song where the ‘la la la’ chorus was actually bluffing through forgotten lyrics. That vulnerability ruse, eh girls? Such stage craftiness in ones so young! Should go far.

Admiral Fallow

Gig review by John Kennedy
Gig photos by Dan Hess

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