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... Here's Tom With The Weather

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Audio CD, 11 Aug 2003
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Product details

  • Audio CD (11 Aug. 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Northcountry
  • ASIN: B0000AISK3
  • Other Editions: Audio CD |  Vinyl |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 40,830 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Product description

As an album title, Here's Tom with the Weather may as well serve as an epithet for stubbly Arthur Lee admiring Liverpool guitar-pop combo Shack (otherwise known as bruised Scouse duo Mick and John Head), a band who've generally been too tardy or too unfortunate to figure much in the news headlines, but who--come rain or shine--remain a reassuringly reliable fixture on the fringes of classic British rock music; a situation owing, in no small part, to the timeless brilliance of their songwriting. While Shack's last album--1999's HMS Fable--arrived too late to extricate the public from the hollow vaingloriousness of Oasis, it was an indisputable joy, chock full of should-have-been hit singles and only denied the status of Britpop classic by dint of arriving too late to fight any turf wars.

Ever out of sync, Here's Tom... is a markedly different beast. While Nick Drake strings, Latin percussion and Love-styled Mexican brass interject, Here's Tom... is a record that exudes the haunted melancholia of Beatles for Sale via its mood of resignation and spinning folk guitars and which--as devoted followers will surely be at pains to point out--bears a marked similarity to the Head brother's other (and presumably ongoing) musical enterprise The Strands. Perversely bookended by two songs that cherish the immunity of four walls, marriage vows, a family pet and a steadily mundane lifestyle (the soggy morning newspapers of "As Long As I've Got You" and the nuptial icing sugar of "Happy Everafter") Head's songs are populated by itinerant street characters--dreamers, dropouts, schemers and villains--who hang around long enough for nothing very much to happen to their lives. Standout tracks include John Head's gorgeous "Carousel", "Camden Road" (like an Americana version of Squeeze after a night at the whisky) and "Meant to Be" (although the mood and chords bear an uncomfortable resemblance to the Stranglers' "Leave It to the Dogs"). If HMS Fable was a pop mind-blower, Here's Tom... is a grower: an album worthy of nurturing, which in time will repay with dividends. --Kevin Maidment

BBC Review

It's been an agonising wait for the return of Liverpudlian heroes, Shack.When Mick & John Head's deal with Laurel records collapsed in 1999, it was uncertain as to whether we would even get a follow up to the critically acclaimed HMS Fable.Fortunately local concert promoter, Simon Moran from SJM, put up the cash for them to release a new album on his label, North Country.

Shack have always been the masters of understatement in terms of their musical offerings which is somewhat surprising given the stories of drugs and despair that surround them.This album is even more subtle than previous releases, but in all the right ways.

Here's Tom With The Weather was recorded in just seven weeks and as a result, we get the opportunity to experience Shack's song writing at its most spontaneous and uncontrived.

This album is not as anthemic or catchy as HMS Fable; there isn't a "Natalie's Party" or "Comedy" to raucously sing along to.Instead the tunes on Here's Tom... appear, on the surface, unaffectedly simple and unrestrained. But, if you look deeper you'll find complex and genuinelyfulfilling songs.

Opening track "As Long As I've Got You" is stripped down to basics, a beautifully crafted song that sets the tone for the album ahead.You're instantly reminded why the word genius is rarely far from critics lips when talking about Mick Head's song writing.Similarly forthcoming single "Byrds Turn To Stone" is a beautiful, lilting, folk ballad.

Shack's subtlety isn't just about being lo-fi. "Miles Apart", one of the handful of tracks written by John Head, contains a gorgeous string arrangement alongside achingly plaintive vocals. And "Meant To Be" incorporates mariachi horns in a spiralling crescendo.

Shack are back and in exquisite form, even if initially they do sound slightly muted.They do say that if you sing loudly you will be heard, but if you sing quietly you will be listened to.I recommend that you listen pretty carefully to this for some time to come. --Kate Lawrence

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12 October 2017
Format: Audio CD|Verified Purchase
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11 August 2003
Format: Audio CD
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16 February 2005
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14 August 2003
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4 August 2017
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10 November 2005
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6 September 2015
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29 January 2012
Format: Audio CD
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