Joining us this month are beautiful folk duo DEAD FLAMINGOES, here’s what ‘Kill Your Friends’ author John Niven has to say about them—
Late 2011, and in a north London recording studio two people - James Walbourne and Kami Thompson: a girl and a boy in their twenties - sing songs with and at each other. Songs of love, rage, loss and, well, there’s no getting away from it, redemption. There’s a little country, some rock and roll and a lot of folk. But, mostly, there’s the most precious, the heaviest of the musical elements, soul. And the affect - on, say, Bonnie Portmore - is the strangest thing: music simultaneously fresh as milk and old as bones.
In the wrong hands a song like Jealous Sailor might come across as recherché. However it’s attacked with such confidence and ferocity - fingers flying from frets as the floor tom thrums - that the accusation is rendered petty. Idiotic. You will not hear the ragged glory of I Want To See the Bright Lights Tonight channelled as well this year. Hell, any year.
On Hold Your Fire Thompson looks at romance from the unlikeliest of vantage points, the POV of a lover left stranded and bereft by suicide, in the process conjuring herself a dark, spiked lyric worthy of Cave or Cohen: ‘Before you fed your neck through the noose - did you fashion one for me?’
And then, just when it’s dark as can be, the pair’s voices come coiling up together like spiralling, joyous DNA on Got Me in the Habit. When Walbourne’s guitar break staggers off at 1.47 - a drunken sailor who knows exactly what he’s doing - it’s simply impossible not to lurch with it.
‘The price of love is dangerous.’ God yes. There will be heartbreak. And we need it. To keep us alive, to keep us human. Anyway, whether you need it or not, you’re certainly going to get it. Here’s the antidote - fresh as milk and old as bones. Yeah, like all the really good stuff.
As ever your hosts McQuaid & Mitchell will be on hand to spin the finest crackling soul filled music to enrich the spirit… see you there..!