Hailing from Lancaster, the Long Lost Band bring their self professed rock-psych-electric-acoustic music to a collaboration with American poet Larry Beckett of Tim Buckley lyricist fame. Sounds intriguing and so it proves to be.
For anyone unfamiliar with The Long Lost Band their most recent work, ‘Death Of The Album’ appeared back in 2013 and they’re been out on the road playing to soe larger audiences supporting the likes of The Icicle Works and I Am Kloot.
Their collaboration with Larry Beckett though takes them into a different dimension. The story goes something like this with apologies for cutting what could be a very long story short. The very last song written by Tim (father of Jeff) Buckley – one of the great writers and vocalist of the sixties – was based round a lyric written by regular lyricist Larry Beckett (of ‘Song To The Siren’ and ‘Morning Glory’ fame). Quite apt that the song, ‘On The Hook’ pertained to the feeling of being high on heroin with Buckley’s tragic overdose before the song was complete.
Fast forward some forty years and a request to Beckett from The Long Lost Band’s Stuart Anthony and the start of an association, a partnership if you will, which developed to the extent that before too long, the ‘On The Hook’ lyric was duly passed across. The result of the collaboration is the Long Lost Band/Larry Beckett album – some tracks performed by the band alone, some featuring Larry himself providing the spoken word part using his own poetry.
It’s a fascinating story and a fascinating set of material, from ‘Babylon’ through to closing out with the album’s title track; one of several instrumental led by acoustic guitars and a Morricone styled whistle breaking through as the track builds…and suddenly ends, ‘One More Mile’ delivers a broad musical palette which is hard to classify but all the better for it. Distorted guitars, at times intense, at times cool and calming with a variety in the arrangements from song to spoken word backed by jangling instrumentation. ‘On The Hook’, the song that kick started the project flows smoothly along with Doors-like relaxed ambience – lyricl references to drinking rum and coke with a gypsy woman sounds very Jim Morrison. The track even gets a reprise at the end of the playlist. It’s placed between an array of styles and moods – ‘Lost’ and ‘Ode To A Wild Rose’ offer instrumental interludes between the Mediterranean vibe of ‘Starlight and ‘Synchronicity’s twangy new wave .‘John Lennon’ is something you can imagine the man himself singing – close your eyes and picture him just at the chorus point – and there’s a warming bluesy groove accompanying the wah wah in ‘Winter Blues’.
An absorbing combination which combines the notion of beat poetry and cool sounds and alongside the work of likes of Heath Common, provides something which is a refreshing tangent from the norm as a musical journey and an all encompassing experience.
The link to the album on bandcamp is here. You can watch the video to ‘Babylon’ from the album: