despite being a loyal amazon customer, it is the first time i feel absolutely compelled to write a review and share the sheer joy of concubine rice. if it's beta band sounds you're looking for, you will not be disappointed but you will certainly be surprised, too. the beatles have been mentioned in here in relation to lone pigeon and i cannot deny there is more than a whiff of them in concubine rice – but lone pigeon does not do crowd-pleasing or recycling, instead he creates a new world of striking originality with no chart-hitting single in sight. too humourous, dark, quirky and sophisticated to appeal to the masses. one could go on with the comparisons and mention also syd's lyrical bedlam and psychedelic guitar but this unfair excercise will lead nowhere, because lone pigeon is a giant himself and unique as such. a feast for the soul and ears which is hard to describe in words. heartbreakingly beautiful, whatever your musical taste. play it in the morning and it will be with you all day. play it in the evening and it will be the soundtrack to your dreams. elephants, buzzard-flies, flying cows, lone vagabonds. just get it.
From the opening strains of bleeps and accordion I realised this was going to be special. You know how sometimes you listen to an album and it fails to stir you on first listen, well for me the opening strains of Concubine Rice, all bleeps and lilting accordion just sounded right and whetted the appetite, before it passed into a head nodding shanty with resolutely assured vocals. It doesn't really seem to matter too much what he says, its all in the inflection, the quirky melody change that just elevates the tune to those eyes closed, neck quivering moments. A beautiful start to the album, and any reservations were gone. I have been trying hard to work exactly how to accurately describe the whole sound of this album but to be honest that's virtually impossible. One fine example starts with a mad Jackanory style storytelling through to a Fife version of the Strap over an Axel F beat. Bewildered you will be. Eclectic and exhilarating in one breath then heartbreakingly soulful the next. You never know what to expect on this album. There are no fillers, but there are several uncut gems hidden amongst the polished stones. Obvious comparisons to the Beatles a la White album abound on a couple of the LP's tracks but as someone who doesn't particularly rate the Beatles [shock, horror] I think the LP outdoes anything I have heard by them. Am I ridiculously overstating these tracks ? I don't think so cos it doesn't have Paul McCartneys bleating voice over it so to my mind that's got to be an improvement. But aside from that admittedly rather lazy comparison, the sheer breadth and scope of the remainder of this album will impress you. Of course its chaotic and so lo fi its basically a live album but it is full of THAT voice, with its melody, emotion and inflection and on the Lonely Vagabond for, to my mind, the first time the Pidge lets it loose and ahhh, its sheer class.
This sounds like John Lennon fronting 3EPs era Beta Band. If you like either of those, you'll like this. (I realise that was an obvious comparison, but there's no point in trying to be clever about this, that's what it sounds like.) The songs are full of light and space, they come from an untouchable distance away and sound like sunlight on a wall. If you've heard the original demos of Strawberry Fields on Anthology 2 you'll know what i mean. Sad and beautiful.
Having seen this cd in a few music mags I was more than intrigued due to his Beta Band links. First listen was a mixed bag for me, at one moment totally blown away by the sheer brilliance of some songs, the next moment underwhelmed. However with repeated listens the true beauty of all the songs reveal themselves. We need more music such as this, something that demands your attention and rewards you a bit more with every listen. It is records such as this that remind you how lazy we have become with our listening to music, if it does not hit you between the eyes straight away it is often dismissed. I am glad to have purchased the Lone Pigeon and allowed this record a place in my collection, the remainder of my collection will have to wait for a while as this one is on the player for a long time.
Being a great fan of the Betaband I chanced upon this album by a one time member with high expectations, I was not to be disappointed and this has fast become my favourite album for many years. The album, although disjointed, is beautiful, melodic and humourous leaving the listener wanting to experience it again and again. If this is anything to go by the future output of such a musician/songwriter will be anticipated with some excitement. Like Fence collective stable mate King Creosote the Lone Pigeon reminds us what music should really be like.
i have never previously felt compelled to write a review for Amazon. i know very little about this artist and that suits me fine. the music reminds me of erik satie, then wings, arab strap and syd. it's on the verge of collapse half the time, vulnerable and heartfelt. god help lone pigeon if he were ever produced properly.