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THE BEVIS FROND – FOCUS ON NATURE (2024) (Bandcamp)

There are few records that I immediately buy these days and not just because vinyl is becoming so damned expensive, but NICK SALOMAN’s music is an exception. The limited purple edition will hopefully soon be arriving at its destination. Meanwhile, I have to make do with the download which I have listened to twice already. Before I write a fuller review, I would like to share my notes on some of the tracks on this double album:


‘Heat’: the opener, “it’s all about the money” - quite! - three coruscating guitar breaks already, venting about what ails this sad planet;

‘God’s Gift’: I love these acerbic songs, this one expressing sardonic anger at egotists, or perhaps one in particular;

‘Leb Off’: fairground music, achingly good melody, took me back to the “London Stone” album, one of my favourites;

‘Here for the other One’: a heartfelt song about an audience at a gig who are there to see ‘the other one’, with a line I would totally agree with, “when you’re big you lose contact with your fans.”

‘Empty’: “You think I’m moaning ‘cos I am; one of the things that attracts me to Nick’s music is that he tells it like it is and is not prepared to compromise, and one can empathise with why he feels that he has ran out of gas and out of cash, and wondering when exactly do people get what they deserve;


‘Mr Fred’s Disco’: sounds autobiographical, the longest track at 8-minutes with some of Nick’s most expressive guitar playing, a somewhat melancholy but totally engaging reflection;

‘Hairstreak’: a lovely song with organ;

‘Maybe We Got It Wrong’: another direct, honest song, with the usual sterling work from the bass and drums (always a very tight band) about time marching on and no point looking back;


‘Brocandine’: a lovely short acoustic song, took me back to “What Did for the Dinosaurs”, another of many highlights in the band’s career;

‘’The Hug’: another brave, heartfelt song about not wanting medals or money but “a little bit of recognition” - a killer guitar line;

‘Hung on a Wire’: clever wordsmithery, finishing with a magnificent guitar solo, of course.

 

Nineteen songs, with more to discover with each listen; they’re starting a European tour on 12th April, concluding with two nights at the Lexington, London on 18th and 19th May.

 

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