a grave that bears your name;
My month without internet access will enter its final week tomorrow and MY GOD, but it couldn’t come soon enough. While I don’t miss those weekends and evenings lost to endless surfing (Saturday afternoons, for example, have been spent in Once Upon A Tart on King Street with various books – I’ve finally gotten around to Bonfire of the Vanities!) it’s coming up to that time of year when one is almost religiously compelled to blog. That’s right – it’s List Season, and I’m already being hassled for my picks.
But at we look backwards, we also get to look ahead. As frontman of The (critically-lauded) Phantom Band, Rick Redbeard is no stranger to a place among the annuals, as it were. While the band almost passed me by, their albums buried in my iTunes library by a complicated system of automatically generated playlists, Redbeard’s solo stuff crept into my veins in the traditional way: as low key and introspectively as his distinctive vocals, performing acoustically on a stage in Paisley I’ve used myself as part of a Gerry Loves showcase.
“Cold As Clay (The Grave)” was one of my favourites on the night, combining Alistair Roberts-style folk-influenced vocals with a menacing undertone more redolent of Tom Waits. It’s also the first track to emerge from No Selfish Heart, Redbeard’s first solo full-length which will emerge early next year on Chemikal Underground. Eight years in the making, the album began as an outlet for those more introspective songs that didn’t quite fit The Phantom Band’s brief – but over time, the collection has grown into a thematically linked suite of intimate songwriting in its own right.
Rick Redbeard performs as part of the £12 early bird tickets are apparently still available from Tickets Scotland, or head to Monorail where you can also book a bus to the venue for an additional £4 (leaves at 2:30pm).
No Selfish Heart is out on Chemikal Underground on Monday, 28th January 2013. It’s not available for pre-order as yet, but you can find out more information here. In the meantime, you can buy his split 7″ with the equally compelling Adam Stafford from Gerry Loves Records.