oliver cherer

You may or as the case may be might not recall (in which case why) us falling over words of fondness poured forth in the direction of Oliver Cherer’s (as then forthcoming) album ‘Sir Ollife Leigh and other ghost’ (still forthcoming as it happens – due 28/04 via second language). At the time I think we threatened to give up sleep for Lent until we got a physical copy from their press folk which I’m happy to say we now have and such a lovely packaged treat it is to from what we an make out through weary sleep deprived eyes, what do you these fold out designs, 8 panel wrap around or something with lyrics and a most beguiling pastel collage. Anyway you mightn’t readily recognise the name Oliver Cherer, once Dollboy (still is) who released several key note releases on the much loved Static Caravan imprint, here under his real name we find him in more ethereal and traditionalist lost folk settings. As equally charmed in ‘wicker man’ styled village green pagan heraldry and Elizabethan recitals as it is with mythical spirituals and wood crafted hymnals, the eleven strong ’Sir Ollife and other ghosts’ is a varied ever changing lush and tender dance of apparitions and folklore echoes from England’s proud and bloodied past. Aided and abetted by a close knit gathering of musical players from Hefner, Neotropic and Crayola Lantern, Cherer has crafted something timeless sounding that resonates deep within our ancestral psyche by way of utilising unfamiliar primitive instrumentation such as dulcimer, cimbalom, balalaika and even a restored antique reed organ (which can be heard on the opening track ‘the dead’) even to the point of avoiding his usual mode of electronica in favour of more basic analogue means such as oscillators and tape devices. As said 11 tracks feature on this deceptively enchanting set, those admiring of all things Owl Service and the rest of the gathered Hobby Horse collective as was will be beguiled by ‘Croham Hurst’ – which incidentally is loosely whereupon the albums underlying theme hangs from, a ghost song, Croham Hurst in case your unaware as was I, is an ancient wood located in Croydon owned I the 16thC by none other than the albums namesake Sir Ollife Leigh. Whilst we are talking admirers of various bands, Soft Hearted Scientist aficionados will do well to tune into ’maryon park’ (apparently the park featured in ’blow up’ – learn something everyday – at least I do and its stop getting distracted reading press notes – which usually I don‘t because I‘ve lost them). Staying with the press release a second longer, mentions are made of Robert Wyatt being a reference marker all of which becomes apparent when the sweetly alluring though ostensibly ghostly enchantment of ’asphyxiation’ weaves sleepy headed into view to a cortege of wheezing and yawning spectral string arrangements. As though drifted in upon a spectral dew draped ghost light ‘the charcoal burners’ is spirited by a bewitching carnival of fairy imps and other twilight manifestations all tooting upon a willowy and woozy wind recital which it has to be said has something of a ‘magical mystery tour’ Beatles-esque charm about its person. As previously mentioned in earlier dispatches opener ‘the dead’ inspired by a film exploring the legend and mythology of the ferryman entitled ‘death in a nut’ employs the same stilled elegant disquieting beauty of NICO’s ‘frozen warning’ as it emerges siren like from out of the primordial mist. Somewhere else there’s the tearfully hollowed ‘consider darkness’ to leave you at once humbled and redeemed as it lifts it melancholic gaze to blossom into a sweetly arresting campfire gospel not to mention the captivating regal ‘mentmore waltz’ as it skips and genuflects to a lightly flavoured aromatic pastoral posy whose memory rallies to medieval May Day festivities whilst romantically playing courtship with the odd fellows casino. Sure to attract the radio plays ‘ladybird, ladybird’ treads ever so lightly into the more delicate musical paths of Lupen Crook arriving delicately honeycombed in fading 60’s summers and loosely studded in the faintest of psych folk wafts whilst nibbling just ever so slyly at the coda to David Soul’s ‘don’t give up on us baby’ (I kid you not while those daring to ask how I know a passer by passing by heard it in passing and passed said information to me). Still all said ‘millions’ is still the one that summons our ears and heart, unmistakably cradled as though a campfire summit meeting gathering Bad Seeds and Black Heart Procession types, yet dare we forget to mention ’when we shut down’ which should you reach its parting sigh without the shedding of a tear then frankly you are inhuman. Beautiful in short.

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