David Essex fronting Lieutenant Pigeon! Papernut Cambridge return with more warm-hearted pop!
Here we are at the mid point of 2018, a strange time in an increasingly strange land. A government in crisis; a civil war in all but name being played out under the ongoing Leave/Remain struggle; Donald Trump popping over to meet the Queen; cloudless skies over a sun-blistered Britain; and perhaps most incredulous of all the England football team doing well at the World Cup. You could not make it up.
Oddly though the feeling round our house is more redolent of the warm glow of an uncomplicated childhood Christmas. This is in no small part thanks to the release of Outstairs Instairs, the latest long-player from Papernut Cambridge. New music from Ian Button and his assembled band-mates is always cause for celebration, more so when it's this accomplished and satisfying.
Papernut Cambridge continue to draw on the early-Seventies for much of their musical ideas, a touch of Ronnie Lane, some gentle glam stomp, a bit of wonky pub piano, some spoof hotel lounge bar music and plenty of warm-hearted pop. The overall effect is akin to David Essex fronting Lieutenant Pigeon.
But don't be fooled into thinking they're simply aping their '70s pop annual heroes. This is more than a Top Of The Pops / Hallmark Records sound-alike. What sets PC apart is that they actually say something in their songs. They have meaning depth and purpose. Outstairs Instairs bristles with emotional intelligence, and finds lead Papernut/songwriter/vocalist Ian Button full of acceptance. Acceptance of the world, along with his place in it. Many of the songs here offer an outlook that celebrates small acts of kindness and how much they're needed when our so-called leaders seem to have lost their moral compass.
Not only does the music hit the mark but as is always the case with PC, they present it in an attractive and interesting way. The vinyl version of Outstairs Instairs plays from the outer edge inwards on side one, and from the centre outwards on side two. Something to do with the inventor/architect Richard Buckminster Fuller and the C60 molecule named after him apparently. (Don't ask me, I'm no scientist!)
As befitting such a large and loose collective, the Gare du Nord Records extended family get involved – Jack Hayter features on viola, with (amongst others) Darren Hayman, Robert Rotifer and Luke Smith also playing various bits and bobs. If you've yet to experience the mighty Papernut, now is the time!
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