Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Pure Evil!

‘Liquid Mercury’
‘The Wickedest Man In The World'

The one-man renaissance that is Paul Simpson continues on his Lazarus - like airborne trajectory with ‘Liquid Mercury’, which is yet another mercurial slice of autobiography and hymn to his Liverpool hometown. While in comparison to previous single ‘English Electric Lightening’ this could initially be viewed as a slight affair, it does, like all great Wild Swans moments, seduce the listener on repeated listening. However, yet again, and true to form, the real delight is to be found on the spoken-word flipside. ‘'The Wickedest Man In The World', a Crowley lift, is a beguiling tale of psychodrama and psychogeographic malevolence that simultaneously manages to evoke a scene from Paris Texas while relocating it amongst the muddied sludge of the river Mersey. At a time when I had all but fallen out of love with the guitar, this beautiful confectionary reintroduces that most subtle of things, the intelligent guitarist, in the shape of Mike Mooney. A man who has previously played in other great bands such as The Sex Gods and Spiritualised, but it has to be said, has seldom sounded sonically better than in this luxuriant bubble bath of understated guitar histrionics that effortlessly embeds Simpson’s fine speaking voice as he again narrates a dark tale recalling his love / hate relationship with the city that in turn both fascinates and frightens him. Brush stroked drums and Debussy inspired piano sprinkled wonders evolve as Simpson asks himself, as David Byrne before him, how did I get here?

“What happened to me? I used to catch midnight boats to the Hoek of Holland, make love to punk schoolgirls in shower cubicles, drink Benylin for kicks, steal poetry, do acid for breakfast.”

It’s not such a bad life is it really Paul? Especially when after all those years you can still produce music that is as rich and life affirming as this. Buy this record now and then work your way through the back catalogue.
Keith Haworth

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