Songs from the Old Illawalla
'A quintessentially English singer/songwriter who's surely a kindred spirit of our best mavericks' (Whisperin & Hollerin) For years, erstwhile egg-man, MP's assistant and bed salesman Glyn Bailey, played a supporting role in bands from his UK Lancashire base. He moved centre stage in 2005, with the launch of debut solo album 'TOYS FROM BALSA'. After generating interest from underground media ('15 tracks charmingly catchy and twisted throughout' Glasswerk. Co.UK), subsequent gigs included notable supports for Vincent Vincent and The Villains, Hafdis Huld, Whiskycats and others. 2007 brings a new album 'SONGS FROM THE OLD ILLAWALLA', fashioned from the same eclectic soup of Bailey's life experience. Citing his influences as Nick Cave, David Bowie, Jacques Brel, Divine Comedy and Lou Reed, doesn't tell the whole story. The cliché 'impossible to pigeonhole' often used but so rarely true, genuinely fits here, though try to imagine alt-folk-pop subjected to several degrees of perversion and you're coming close. Bailey bends it with the best of them, capturing lyrically whatever he finds moving or disturbing, the music perfectly reflecting his chosen direction. All of life is here, or at least the darker side... Opener 'Yahoo!' is a spaghetti-western inspired swipe at big corporations and their threat to the planet, a theme that's echoed later in the haunting 'Doomed Ship Allegory'. Contrasts range from the heartbreaking 'Glory', to the Beach-Boys vibe of 'Down Amongst The Living', with 'Ghost' even providing a potential hit pop single. Things can get weird too. 'Kafkaesque World' goes under the skin of a torturer. There's coercion and abuse in 'Groomed', and a local news headline (Lifetime ban for clown pervert) provides subject matter for 'The Clown'. The FIFA soccer World Cup Final is revisited for a rousing 'Zizou's Big Day', before stopping off for an uncomfortable 'School Reunion'. 'The Crow' conjures a fairytale battle, whilst 'Moonwalkers' pays homage to the Apollo lunar astronauts. The album concludes with the tale of American singer 'Deano', an 8 minute epic sustained by Bailey's excellent narrative instinct. Glyn is currently playing dates in the UK with his band The Many Splendid Things.
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