My best buddy bought me this album in '98? To be honest I don't think I even played it and left it in the CD rack for a year or so. I was just coming down from the crushing disappointment of Oasis and Brit Pop in general. When I say Oasis I mean everything they did post 'What's the Story'. So I stick it on and have a listen. 'Not bad'. Then I guess I listened again, and again, and again. Wow it got stuck in there. I'm not one to idly bandy platitudes around the place, but the first 4 songs on this are pretty much perfect. If I was pressed for a personal favourite it would have to be the complete song, 'I don't want control of you'. I listen to this album a lot, and without sounding to pompous it holds it's own amongst some very esteemed company.
The cover and artwork are at odds with themselves and the music contained within, or maybe they are not? The cheap thrills promise of a travelling funfair in juxtaposition with the stripped down beauty of the wilds of Scotland (I have assumed). If I'm honest the cover put me off for a while, don't let it do the same to you. This is magnificent.
Some years later I saw them play locally (around 2002) one of the best gigs I've been to, and I've been to a few. I've listened to everything they've done in the intervening years, but this was always the album for me. For some reason I always couple this with Paul Weller's Wild Wood. Not particularly similar, but I think they go together like chips and ketchup.