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Small Circle

Clayhill Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

Small Circle + Mine At Last + Cuban Green
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  • Mine At Last £22.90
  • Cuban Green £16.65

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Product details

  • Audio CD (27 Sep 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Eat Sleep
  • ASIN: B0002J488Y
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 224,443 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Alpha Male
2. Northern Soul
3. Moon I Hide
4. Human Trace
5. Even Though
6. Rushes of Blonde
7. Mystery Train
8. Grasscutter
9. Afterlight
10. End Refrain

Product Description

Product Description

Clayhill's debut album, Small Circle includes the single "Northern Soul", the title track to the Shane Meadows-directed short film Northern Soul. Clayhill have provided 5 other tracks from Small Circle, that also appear in the film's soundtrack. Ted Barnes (Guitarist/Songwriter) and Ali Friend (Bass/Songwriter) have both earned their stripes as members of Beth Orton's touring band and are co-writers on Beth's albums.


Creeping up on you like a lost cat demanding to be fed, there is a more than a chance that once the folk-rock of Clayhill enters your conscious, it's unlikely to stop bothering you until that urge is sated with repeated listening of full-length debut Small Circle. Those familiar with their earlier release Cuban Green know the score; everyone else now has the chance to catch up. If the strong, whisky-soaked voice of Gavin Clark sounds familiar, give yourself a pat on the back for being familiar with the work of overlooked indie band Sunhouse. Coupling this distinctive voice with the writing skills of guitarist Ted Barnes and bassist Ali Friend, both collaborators and players with Beth Orton, and the recipe that produces the urgent David Gray-esque sound that is best represented in the track 'The End Refrain' becomes obvious. Despite the stark instrumentation, the sound is huge- and the songs certainly compliment it. From start to finish, this album goes for the heartstrings, evoking a melancholy, minor key wistfulness that is at times wrenching ("Moon I Hide") and at other times triumphant and cathartic ("Northern Soul"), it never suffers any doubts of confidence. And thus, neither should any listener. --Thom Allott

Customer Reviews

3 star
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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely stunning! 19 Nov 2004
Format:Audio CD
I saw Clayhill support The Webb Brothers earlier this year in Leeds. I wasn't blown away but that was no reflection on the band (a bunch of farm hands was my initial impression)... the sound in the venue wasn't brilliant. However, I did find Clayhill really interesting and wanted to find out more.
When I found the new album, I bought it and have hardly stopped playing it to myself and others. All responses have been great.
I love it and really look forward to seeing the band again soon, hopefully in a better sounding venue and perhaps with a full band? Keep the music flowing. Northern Soul, Moon I hide & End Refrain are the standout tracks for me... although I haven't skipped a track through boredom yet, which is rare for me. All tracks are beautifully crafted and have explosive qualities.
Clarke, Barnes & Friend are names to look out for in the future... I'm sure we'll hear a lot more from them!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moved me to tears - and I'm a bloke! 14 Aug 2005
Format:Audio CD
I was inspired to buy this album by the film Dead Man's Shoes - mainly the short 30min film about the wrestler - and I wasn't disappointed. The singer has an incredible voice, the lyrics show great intuition and empathy and the melodies are divine. I can't believe these guys aren't more talked-about, they're highly talented individuals. Seems to capture every mood I'm in anyway. Buy it or don't, but you'd have to be clinically insane not to buy it. I mean it, if you haven't bought it in half an hour, I'll come round your house. With a gas mask on.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars magnificent 7 Oct 2004
Format:Audio CD
Simple and beautiful. Literate and human. How these people are not outselling Travis I don't know. The guitar / bass heart of this is uplifting and unsentimental. The voice is individual without pretention. There's a humour and intelligence at work here. Buckleyesque? Beatlesish? Not quite, but following in a great English tradition. I love this, and the 'Cuban Green' e.p. is fab as well.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back to basics 22 Aug 2005
Format:Audio CD
It is always fascinating when musicians go back to basics. On this acoustic EP some of the best tracks from Small Circle, and some new material, benefit greatly from the "stripped back" approach. Without the over-production that some of the tracks on Small Circle suffer from, the real beauty and detail (if you like) in Clayhill's performance is captured and given a chance to breathe. A fantastic and brave addition to Clayhills releases to date, and an ideal place to start for anyone discovering their music for the first time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars safe but great 3 Nov 2006
Format:Audio CD
Anyone who loved sunhouse (i first heard them on the twentyfour seven soundtrack another great listen) will love this laid back dreamy and sometimes haunting acoustic bliss. Well worth the money
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