It may not have escaped the attention of visitors to this here website that I’ve written a book about music in Medway.
Sorry. I do go on about it a bit…
During the writing of it I told someone – not from Medway – about the project. He, rather dismissively, said that writing such a thing shouldn’t take too long. Surely it would be more of a pamphlet than a book.
He was slightly wrong.
Among the plethora of bands and artists discussed in the 504 pages, are The Singing Loins, a folk-trash band as they called themselves. One of the most prominent jewels in Medway’s musical crowns, The Loins have appeared in both Stuart Turner and Fizzer Rippon’s lists of favourites from the area in my recent videos.
And it’s easy to understand why.
The mixture of raw wit and ribaldry with even rawer honesty and poignancy, together with their folk-punk sound which made them outcasts in folk and punk venues alike, make for a splendid proposition.
Among their finest moments comes ‘Alien’ from their (lamentably) last album, …here on earth.
It is, to put it bluntly, absolutely gorgeous.
A clarinet and bassoon intermingle among the usual guitars as Chris Broderick assumes the role of the bemused, eponymous extra-terrestrial:
I’ve grown to quite like them
the sad contrary human
sometimes I believe it
believe I’m almost human.
And then the distortion and noise explodes in a brain-splitting riot of sound.
Which then gives way for the album’s – and indeed band’s – parting gesture ‘With All Your Blessed Heart’:
If you ain’t out of breath
and still in tune by the end
if your strings ain’t even broke
and your skin not ripped apart
why oh why – tell me why do you ever start?
What’s the point?
Why do you even bother at all?
The two songs compliment each other perfectly. The growing chaos of ‘Alien’ contrasting with the stark elegance of ‘With All Your Blessed Heart’; the outsider looking lyrics of the former juxtaposed with the insides poured out confessional of the latter.
Utterly, utterly, triumphantly, emphatically gorgeous.
You can do yourself – and, indeed, your nearest and dearest – a favour by getting your mits on …here on earth from Damaged Goods records.
And while you’re waiting for the postman – or the download to complete, why not feast your eyes on Chris Broderick talking stuff about The Singing Loins?