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What are you listening to right now? Post Video links please.

Remembered this one when attempting to contact the main man at our local theatre to see if he'd be interested in having Wreckless Eric play there in the autumn.

‘Vent’ is the latest album from the Thames Delta Troubadour, Phil Burdett, and is currently available via a digital download. Being of a certain (quickly ageing) generation, I still can’t quite listen to this format readily and I had to ‘burn’ the tracks to a disc first. The lyrics too come via the digital download (a PDF in this instance) and with any PB album, they’re always worth your consideration in conjunction with the listening.

‘Vent’ was constructed during ‘The Great Plague’ from March 2020 to December 2021. It is an album of quite majestic quality and starts slowly with the scene set clearly in the opening track ‘Kranker’ (“Plague in the streets/A plague on all your houses”) as the protagonist listens “to The Minutemen & Big Bill Broonzy” in this “City of silence” but is also able to survive this “grenade of melancholy” with the help of some personal home essentials (“I’ve got books to read, I’ve got coffee”).

There is also a rich vein of personal retrospective consideration running through ‘Vent’ in nice (as in neat) references to some of PB’s previous work, ‘Good For Mr Bad Hat’ and ‘Dandelion Wishes & Atheist Prayers’ (“Vote for Mr Bad Hat”) in ‘Blood Red Bible’ – an almost title track with its outro line, “Unleash your heart & vent … vent!” – and in the following track, the upbeat but uneasy ‘Seeing Things’ (“The Hat Man climbing up my stairs, dandelion wishes, atheist prayers/Running out of time now I’m prey to Mother Fear”) as PB sings of “seeing things/Some haunted memories refusing to die/It’s a long goodbye.” There’s also a nod to the first PB album that I heard, ‘See You Later, Forever’, in the lush arrangements of ‘One Minus One’ featuring Colleen McCarthy on backing vocals.

I feel that PB is one of the great lyricists of our times and his songs easily translate towards poetic effect – perhaps it’s not altogether surprising that he’s had such a productive spell in recent years with his publication of three volumes of poetry and a hugely literary novel, even though these are no mean achievements in their own right.

PB pays homage to perhaps the greatest living poet as lyricist, Bob Dylan, in ‘For Tarantula’ and the track carries a dark tension reminiscent of PB’s ‘Night Horses Of The Wireless Road’, itself a paean to PB’s fellow lyrical troubadour, the late Jackie Leven. Dig this, man: -

“Fake Columbus in a drunken bar plugs in an electric guitar/Shot a dude out on ’61 with lyrics from a poet’s gun/Dead lovers on the bloody tracks, light a cigarette baby, don’t look back.”

‘St. Giles Leper Waltz’ is another outstanding track as ‘Vent’ draws to a stirring end and it sees PB going into a Tom Waits-style vocal delivery during a “fever dream” containing images of “those heavy miles/From bleak Centre Point to the old Seven Dials” in the St. Giles district of central London. It always pays to read between the lines of a PB track and I often need to read up on some of the information contained in the lyrics so here’s a little summary of what I found out about Saint Giles - the patron saint of people with disabilities who is also invoked as a saint for warding off childhood fears and depression and tellingly in the context of this song and album, he was also a symbol of protection against the greatest plague of them all, the Black Death.

The concluding track, ‘62nd Equine House’, is hugely moving. It speaks of our vulnerabilities as we age (“From springtime rain to autumn leaf/This crumbling house/This thrill is gone”) and how we may try to “keep the faith with cracked belief” as “around, around this floor we spin.” I suspect that there is another most personal background to this track as PB sings of being “Sixty-two, no more to do” whilst still wondering if there may be “a chance to begin once more/Or an echo of slamming door.” The killer lines (no pun intended) for me though come immediately after with their further echoes of ‘They Shoot Horses Don’t They?’ and its awful denouement to ending a life that no longer inspires: -

“& they’re shooting/All the horses/Shooting/All the horses …”

There is a reconciliation to this sad ending when PB concludes, “Ah … But it’s ok … it’s ok … it’s ok …”

Or is it? I guess it’s about acceptance and how we have to adjust to circumstances that we have receding control over.

I salute Phil Burdett and his enduring ability to move the soul. Shine on, good Sir!

‘Vent’ is available via Phil Burdett’s website: -> https://philburdett.com

i'm listening to arctic monkeys. I've taken quite a liking to them after seeing them at Glastonbury
It's possible I've posted this before but some songs of sorrow can be hugely uplifting.

"I'd leave this place but I know I'd only miss it,
And the acid in my battery's running low,
I used to skip like a schoolgirl playing hopscotch down the years,
But now there's so much sorrow
So much sorrow,
Now there's so much sorrow in the world."


Currently listening to the true Queen of C& W music (no I don't mean Dolly Parton or Linda Rondstadt but someone I'm proud to say I've seen live Lucinda Williams,.

You have some **** kicking honky tonk tastes.

I listened to five seconds of this, someone got hit with a pool cue and a twenty man brawl broke out.