Song number six and Chris is pulling no punches at all here with the album’s main sermon, dressed as it is in the biblical terminology of “thou shalt not” and “thou shalt”. But it’s not just a simple lecture, wise though it may be. There’s an element of confession, fear and self admonishment here too.
Chris has commented, “The midlife crisis wrapped up in a greed induced recession ‐ its a songwriter’s perfect storm.” Chris picks at the culture of irresponsible aspiration and envy that we seem to have created for ourselves. Lottery winners, bulging bankers and boardroom bonuses and teenage football millionaires all contribute to a society where some can do what they want, while austerity means the dream is on hold for the majority and permanently taken from far too many. The saying is, “There’s always someone worse off than you are.” But do we care?
Implicit in this is need vs desire and as we grow older and our bodies start to play the tricks of that aging process on us, do we take stock? Do we count our blessings? Once again it seems that love might just be the balancing force.
Like all of the best of Chris’ songs this is complex, dressed in a gentle meander of a tune, his honest melancholy is quietly caustic as it hits its target , yet filled with a commoner’s empathy and humanity. The playng is, as throughout, simply superb.
Review by: Simon Holland
BUY THE ALBUM
4 May Sheffield Central Library Theatre, Tudor Square, SHEFFIELD S1 1XZ.
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5 May South Lakes Rootsfest, Lane Farm, Crocklands, MILTHORPE Cumbria LA7 7NH.
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9 May St George’s Bristol, Great George Street, off Park Street, BRISTOL BS1 5RR.
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10 May Electric Palace, 35 South Street, BRIDPORT Dorset DT6 3NY.
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11 May The Acorn Theatre, Parade Street, PENZANCE Cornwall TR18 4BU.
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12 May Topsham Folk Club, Matthews Hall, Fore Street, TOPSHAM, Devon, EX3 0HF.
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16 May Theatre Severn, Frankwell Quay, SHREWSBURY Shropshire SY3 8HQ.
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17 May Canterbury Cathedral Lodge, The Precincts, CANTERBURY, Kent CT1 2EH
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21 May St George’s Hall Liverpool, St George’s Place, LIVERPOOL Merseyside L1 1JJ.
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22 May The Glee Club, BIRMINGHAM
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23 May Union Chapel, Compton Avenue, Islington, LONDON N1 2UN.
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24 May The Guildhall Derby, Derby Assembly Rooms, Market Place, DERBY DE1 3AH.
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25 May Winchester Discovery Centre, Jewry Street, WINCHESTER, Hants, SO23 8SB
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26 May The Basement, 24 Kensington Street, BRIGHTON, East Sussex, BN1 4AJ.