Friday, 30 November 2012

Albums for Life: 89: Boo Hewerdine: Thanksgiving

Tell me that a lover's touch 
Is more than nature planting seeds
Oh what am I to believe?
South of here the winter's kinder
So they leave to find fair weather
And how high our spirits rise
On their returning

Blimey, surprisingly this was a toughie.
Almost as tough as Boo looks on the cover.
He's come for the rent?
No! He's given you his heart and soul... and he wants them back!

Trying to choose a top Boo record is a bit like having to decide which of one of your girlfriend's toes you like best; of course they're all beautiful, just slightly misshapen; occasionally corny, sometimes smelly even...
That's possibly why this ranks so ridiculously low; the songs are randomly great but... is there one defining album?
It could have been 'Baptist Hospital' but I always got the feeling that album was a bit of a haven for lost or homeless songs.
And then there's the beauteous 'Anon', I know that Boo holds that one particularly dear, and I too love it as, possibly, his most complete album, but... everything sits pretty and in situ on 'Thanksgiving' so I'm plumping (or is it plumbing?) for it.
It has an acoustic vibe that makes for a homely feast; the strings are lovingly arranged; the whole thing is beautifully understated; it just kind of unwinds...
I've posted a couple of random selections:
First up is the exquisite lead track 'The Birds are Leaving' (possibly my favourite solo Boo song) followed by 'Bell Book and a Candle'; as heard on Emmerdale...
Then I've featured 'Patience of Angels'; it's not on 'Thanksgiving' but it's lovely and the video might guide you to the excellent songwriting circle session that Boo did with Justin Currie and Chris Difford.
I've also attached this photo of the bard without glasses, if only for its shock value.
It'll definitely keep the pigeons off your sprouts...


  1. "South of here the winter's kinder. So they leave to find fair weather."
    Yes indeed! That's us... the snow birds. M's test came back OK, we're off to tie the ribbon on our lovely winter getaway cottage, leaving a foot of snow in our wake...

    Thanksgiving an easy Boo standout album for me, and Birds Leaving fave track aside from Bible work.
    Gotta run...


  2. Safe flight to you both then... great news regarding your haven; greater news concerning Myrna.
    Best to you both...

  3. Touch of early Tom Waits about Birds Leaving, which is no bad thing. Someone I've never really listened to, I'm afraid, which seems to becoming a regular thing across these lists. So much music.

    1. There should be no reluctance about this journey Seamus; as Tom Waits himself said: "the obsessions's in the chasing and not the apprehending..."

  4. Boo used to play with The Bible Seamus; a fairly seminal band for me in the late 80s.
    They had a song; 'Graceland' that I spent the next 10 years trying to rewrite...
    Worth investigating the gentle Boo; he writes for others; notably Edie Reader.

    1. I vaguely remember The Bible - will have to check them out too. Will we be seeing them later in this list?

    2. There will Seamus; although I prefer Boo's solo output, The Bible were a massive influence on my younger self; I'm viewing the list as a selection of music that's been vital to me rather than my chronicling 'The Finest Albums Ever Made'. That would be a different thing altogether...

  5. Seamus - just echoing Trev - take the trip. Although I come form a slightly different place , I like poppier louder Boo (usually when he has Kirsty M's half brother Neil on guitar) to quieter whispering boo

  6. Neils's recently been touring with Colin Vearncombe aka Black.
    Have a listen to a cracking version of 'Sweetest Smile' here:

  7. Harmonograph is Boo recording himself doing some of the songs he wrote for other people. It's more produced and has some of those he often does live, Patience, Sing to me, Ontario for example, but it's not got some of the Bible numbers, like Graceland, Joke and 59 Yards all of which he does well live and alone.