Owen's contribution recorded by Oliver Hasse in Hamburg
Sonic's contribution recorded at New Atlantis in the UK
Mixed at Hall Place Studio by Richard Formby
Mastered by Eric James at the Philosophers Barn
All songs by Pat Fish except for Count Me Out, by Max Eider
Produced by Richard Formby
LAST OF THE GENTLEMAN ADVENTURERS
The Cuban heels are worn down to their cuticle and the spring-loaded derringer has rusted in position up a shiny sleeve. Crows bowl across the Racecourse like black boa tumbleweeds and far too many of the other wanted-poster names are long since taken down: that absent rack of painted clogs in Birchfield Road, an admixture of alcohol and DNA still percolating through Jack Lansbury's spit-trap, Freddy Fingers' glass eye rolling to a standstill on the empty dance-floor, all gone, all auditioned for the Boot Hill Boogie Boys or otherwise dispersed. Inside the legendary saloon, its bar-length mirrors and its framed reclining nudes all plasterboarded now, conviviality swept out through a swing door the moment everybody's cards were on the table. This must be the famous palace that those four-lane highways of excess were always leading to, that makes a body scrape a chair up and take stock.
With blood from an interminable improv on his cleaver ... people say he uses every last bit of a slaughtered solo clarinet except its squeal ... the Jazz Butcher, one of this threadbare island's greatest living songwriters, herein purveys his choicest cuts. All left to hang as part of their extensive maturation process, melodies so tender that they're falling off the bone, a gamey sweetness in the lyrics, this sumptuous salmagundi has the flavour of a signature dish, something left till last.
A work that speaks from a hard-earned perspective and means every word of it, Last of the Gentleman Adventurers is a delightfully ill-humoured reassessment of contemporary culture and the dwindling amount of room remaining for a gentleman adventurer within it. From the atavistic primate yearnings for a vanished jungle-land in `Animals' to the elegiac message-in-a-bottle bobbing on an eerie Californian surf in `Shakey', what we're offered is a scuffed and well-stamped passport to the gone world, stained with Tokay, singed by oval cigarettes you'll never see again. The fatalistic Gallic shrug of `Tombe dans les pommes' lifts a dismissive brow at life's vicissitudes, while `Count Me Out' speaks of the dignified withdrawal from a situation that's no longer either interesting or acceptable.
Far from a weary resignation letter, though, the pieces here more accurately represent a flinty and determined manifesto, a defiant staking out of the unsupervised and teeming wasteland to which our illustrious former territory has been reduced, a vital roster of remaining freedoms. Whether that be in appreciating the bohemian elan of next-door's quadruped or instigating a romance we may be hard pressed to survive, these songs are testimonials to life, perhaps especially to life at bay. The bluesy and relentless rocket of `Solar Core' provides a glorious reminder to select our destination carefully, and never be found wanting in ambition. `All the Saints' and its affecting coda spell out the emotionally conservationist agenda, with a spirited dismissal of irrelevant modernity in favour of pursuing vitally important individual dreams.
This luminous, enduring truth resides at the collection's beating, beaten heart, reiterated eloquently in the title track itself, curling its lip at those who have mistaken BUPA and increased consumer choice for liberty, inciting us to man up and define that precious resource for ourselves. With Messrs Harries, Eider and Mattock as his bearers, the last of the gentleman adventurers here buckles up his pith-helmet and mounts a reckless foray into the interior, heads in the last remaining unexplored direction, the implicit fifth point on our compass. Follow at your peril, from the trail of snapped conventions left behind him, to a province still outside captivity. I'll see you there.
Special thanks to: David Whittemore, Mr Mark Cotton, John Cannon, Gene Solomon, Bruce D. Cummings, R. Darin Brock, Barry (Baz) LaPorte, Greg Higgins, The Great Auk Fanciers' Society, Canadaloon, Tony Brusdeilins, Graham Crackers Comics, Lito, Nerissa and Ella, Jeremiah `Spassvogel' Rickert, Curly Jefferson and the Milky Drones, Nancy Boston, Philip Woodrow, jbl, Davey Jones, J. Eric Smith, Andreas Ott, Lucas Taieb, John Gilfillan, Steve Valentine and Joe Woolley
Thanks to everybody who helped us make this record a reality.
Greatness of the Gentleman Adventurers!
- Darin Brock
7Dec2012 6:32 AM
(169 days 16 hours ago)
My CD arrived yesterday and has been playing non-stop since. Good and great tunes all around. The title track really hits home lyrically for me. My 12-year old son is already singing along with Shame About You. Pat & Max - well done. Love it! Rank it among your best. I only wish I were a wealthy man who could fund output like this on a regular basis!
Great close to an otherwise drab year. Love you guys!
- Steve, California
6Dec2012 11:19 PM
(169 days 23 hours ago)
I was also too late to make a pledge. Did anyone pledge at the level to get both the CD and the accompanying demos? If so, how do the demos sound?
- ray koke --NOLA
5Dec2012 5:43 PM
(171 days 5 hours ago)
Nicely done, gents!
An extended tour is in order!
- DE in Arlington, VA
4Dec2012 8:46 AM
(172 days 14 hours ago)
Got the new CD yesterday. Masterful job all around. I like the new versions of All the Saints, Shame About You, Mercy, and Shakey, even though I love the Youtube/Northhamptom versions and may prefer a couple of those just because they're what I've become used to. Animals is one of your best. Thank you for making more music!
How can I get it now?
- Pat Bowersock Springtown, PA USA
28Nov2012 6:19 PM
(178 days 4 hours ago)
I can't pledge on Pledgemusic.com. How can I get a CD or download? MUST HAVE!!!