Saturday, 6 August 2016
Sumner - That Ladybird Summer
Music is full of surprises and That Ladybird Summer is a wonderful surprise. There is so much bad Psychedelia around that when you hear something as good as this, you have to celebrate. It's a cracking slab of Psych Pop.
Sumner is a one man affair, Paul Sumner from Southport, deep in my neck of the woods, although he's ably assisted, more on that later. It would appear that Sumner inhabit a village which has the likes of Dukes Of Stratosphear in the nearby farm, Rick Corcoran running the local pub and Keith West chairing the Parish Council.
A pastoral gem of an album with a theme of growing up in a village. A nod to a bygone age for both life and music. The soundscape is idyllic, the instrumentation just right, it's a mellow delight.
I mentioned that Paul had help, well Dave Gregory plays Guitars on News At Ten and Picture Book. Picture Book is probably the stand out song, a real feel good tune with haunting harmonies.
There may be no XTC any more, but Dave Gregory really is the mark of quality these days. He's already part of two exceptional bands with Big Big Train and the outstanding Tin Spirits. His appearance here just adds to his reputation.
Cellos, Violins, Mellotron and Echoplex add to that late Sixties feel and the production is a triumph, well done Mark Wainwright and Paul.
After the 25 minutes of the first 8 songs fly past, a monster of a closer follows up and wow!! The almost 12 minute, The Battle For Barney's Farm is a masterpiece. It starts as a laid back folk pop thing and breaks out into something that resembles Mid Seventies Pink Floyd with the superb meandering guitar solo. It closes with an orchestrated acoustic finale. Very Big Big Train like.
A delightful album, beautifully presented, you can buy it now at Churchtown Records Bandcamp Site here.
A CD version will be available in Mid September and it certainly feels like something that Markus Holler at Sugarbush Records or John Blaney at Megadodo might like to get hold of for a limited vinyl release.
This is certainly on my top 10 list of this year so far. Highly Recommended!