Thursday, 21 April 2016

Lovesong: Chris Wood: Hollow Point

Thanks to Tom Rose at Reveal Records I am the very happy recipient of Chris Wood's 'Trespasser'/'Lark Descending' on Triple Vinyl. The 'limited edition' made more preciously collectable in the knowledge that many of the 300 pressings were lost in a warehouse fire.
Both albums are wonders of dexterous devilment and heartfelt humour. Chris played The Hat Club last year and awed a select few with his curmudgeonly caustic wit and wayward wisdom. There's an edge to his world weary cynicism that renders his tender moments doubly moving. His feet are firmly set in Olde England but his concerns are very current affairs. This isn't lazy Nationalism but these are songs informed by a history and heritage that is fast fading. He focusses on the things that divide and unite us as a nation. Wood recognises in his sleeve notes that many of his songs are about 'enclosure' in some form or another: "... spiritual, geographical, cultural, legislative, imaginative... they are an invitation to step upon those places we have been lured into believing are no business of ours."

Chris Wood is fiercely protective of our liberties, the oft imperceptible daily whittling of which has now somehow made it illegal for a man to sing a song in a 'public' house without written permission. His irascible and crabby countenance does not make for easy company. But he cares keenly enough to stand tall and tell: Tales of the past that echo resoundingly and relevantly today.

"The law will hang the man or woman
Who steal the goose from off the common
But lets the greater thief go loose
Who steals the common from the goose"

If you want your heart broken have a listen to 'One in a Million' or 'My Darling's Downsized'. If you want your blood chilled with harsh reality look no further than the cold reportage of 'Hollow Point' which somehow manages to be passionately dispassionate.
I love Chris Wood's music.
He has a keen eye, an admirably sharp tongue and a huge heart.
Long may he give a shit.

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