Graham Reid | | 1 min read
Lately on my Kiwi FM programme I have been playing quite a lot from Chris Knox's albums and thoroughly enjoying rediscovering them. (Like Mike Leigh movies and city buses you often didn't feel the need to catch them because another would be along soon enough).
Knox has been prolific and always offers good value -- his last one Chris Knox and the Nothing ran the full 70 minutes available.
If that was his White Album (it came in a Beatles-like "White Album" sleeve and deserved double vinyl release) then what to make of this where he disappears to simply become a member of the Nothing and didn't even do the cover art? (Although we must assume the Lennon-referenced album title is his doing.)
Certainly he wrote everything, bar one co-write, but this is very much a band recording and the Nothing (now with guitarist-producer Roy Martyn in the ranks) are brittle and abrasive as required, or gently supportive on the ballads.
While no one would suggest that has been given studio polish -- it still has a gritty and knocked-off quality -- there is a sure sense that the Nothing have given considerable forethought to this one, without sacrificing that ragged but right quality Knox is so famous/notorious for.
So here are Wreckless Eric/Troggs-like pop (Empty), adult matters (She's Leaving Him), the acerbic but sea shanty-like rollick of The Song of the Tall Poppy, the five minute psychedelic To the Sun with eerie violin, the lovely but edgy ballad In My Heart . . .
Yes, there is a lot of Chris Knox on vinyl and CD in the world but -- like that current Mike Leigh movie coincidentally -- this is one to catch.