If you’ve been wondering what’s been keeping Lee Southall busy all this time, you’re about to find out. On Iron In The Fire, the former The Coral guitarist brings the outside world in through quality songmanship – showing that whichever paths our lives may take, our exposure to the elements will remain the same.
“I worked building dry stone walls on the moors,” Lee reveals of his whereabouts. “Living up there, the weather is always a big issue. There’s been a few emotional storms in my life over the past few years too so I guess the landscape got into the songs in some way. Iron In The Fire is about change, transformation, something being melted down and re-shaped.”
Taking an alternative path to each of his Coral cohorts, when the group disbanded in 2012, Lee left behind his native seaside town of Hoylake on the Wirral, and moved 75 miles inland to the ‘tops’ of Hebden Bridge. In search of a fresh start, the dramatic wind-beaten and changeable landscape gave Lee time and space to craft Iron In The Fire but equally, it lingers like the taste of the salty air hanging above the coast. “I’ve lived by the sea and watched weather roll in, but it's the same in Hebden, watching storms roll over the moors,” Lee says, who wrote the majority of the album in his new hilltop dwellings.
The album is very much the sound of Southall standing alone on his own two feet. “Music's in my blood, it's all I know how to do. The decision to work on my own album felt obvious, natural. Iron In The Fire feels like something I've been waiting for.”