Peel favourite Beau marks his 70th birthday with a brand new studio LP.
Almost a year to the day since Beau's previous album Shoeless In The Desert, the ever prolific Norfolk-based songster has a brand new 13-tracker released digitally by the good folks at Cherry Red Records. An Original Thought has all the hallmarks of a classic Beau album; the every present Harmony twelve-string guitar backing, lyrics that veer from the wry, to comic, and to poignant, along with the astute and compassionate commentary on society's foibles.
This time round the subject matter is, if anything, even more varied. There are the big themes of religion, patriotism, war and peace (The Thinking Of God, A Peace That's Bad). Politicians and tabloid journalism are also subject to Beau's critical eye (Skeleton's Dance), but there's light relief and celebration of the good in humanity too, our ingenuity and ability to invent (Everything's Possible), showbiz comebacks (The Trotter Sisters). It's all done in a manner we've come to expect from such a talented songwriter, the songs are funny but never frivolous, playful but never without a point. Amazingly the album was written in just 2 weeks, in what Beau describes as “... my most intense writing phase ever, even going back to my twenties!
Famously championed by John Peel, Beau featured on the DJ's Dandelion label back in the Perfumed Garden era. Of course the musical climate has changed massively in the intervening decades. Admirably Beau has stuck to the basic principles of what makes his music truthful and honest, rather than indulging in fads and fashions. His songs are recorded without unnecessary studio trickery or technology led instrumentation. All the songs are based on having something to say rather than filling out an album to push “the single”. This might make him something of an anomaly in the current climate but it's something that should be applauded. More power to his elbow!
If you're unfamiliar with Beau's work and want to find out more, check out his previous albums Shoeless In The Desert, Fly The Bluebird and Twelve Strings To The Beau.