# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z




Shelleyann Orphan - Water Rats, London, 1/12/2008

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 10 / 1 / 2009



Shelleyann Orphan - Water Rats, London, 1/12/2008

intro

In their first gig in sixteen years, Anthony Strutt sees late 80s and early 90s indie group Shelleyan Orphan play a glorious set at the Water Rats in London


Shelleyan Orphan were a British indie group of the late 80s and early 90s. They released three albums between 1985 and 1992,'Helloborine', 'Century Flower' and 'Humroot', before returning after a sixteen year absence and adding a fourth album, 'We Have Everything We Need',to their collection of works last November. Shelleyan Orphan are Caroline Crawley and Jem Taylor. Originally from Bournemouth, they signed to Rough Trade after Geoff Travis saw them support the Jesus and Mary Chain at the ICA in London. Their name is a tribute to the poet Shelley and to one of his poems, 'Spirit of Solitude'. Caroline and Jem's music has been described as both Pre-Raphaelite and chamber music, but it also has hints of the Sundays and the Cocteau Twins and is gentle and delicate. Tonight, at what is their first gig since 1992, they play a mere seventy five minute set but tease us by saying that they will play for two hours. Singer Caroline says near the start that they didn't rehearse as much as they wanted to due to her catching the flu, but her voice still sounds on great form. Caroline and Jem, who plays guitar and also does some singing tonight, are joined by three other musicians, including on drums Caroline's husband, Boris Williams, who was the Cure's drummer between 1987 and 1992. Their 12 song set is mainly drawn from their current album, but they promise some oldies towards the end which they do. The audience isn't as big as it should be, but outside it is very cold. The set opens with 'Body Sighs' which has a cool groove, jazzy drums and deep bass. Caroline's vocal is other worldly on it, somewhere close to the Cocteaus' Liz Frazer. 'How a Seed is Sown', Caroline tells us, is a song about how you would lead your life if you knew it was about to end. It is quite dreamy and has elements of the Cure about it. 'Judas' examines the fallen apostle and is about him not being not as bad as he is sometimes portrayed. Boris sits on the floor and plays Indian style drums on this,which give the track a mystical vibe. ' 'Something Pulled Me' is described as their country song and is a joyful little thing. Caroline asks if anyone has got the new album, and is met with the response of finding half the audience singing along to the new songs! 'Evolute' finds Boris on the floor again. He puts talc on his hands to give a freer flow to his drumming rhythm. Somewhat cinematic in feel, it has Jem on lead vocals and Caroline on backing vocals. Their work here recalls that of Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell's work in Mojave 3. 'Your Shoes' is about trying to feel how someone else is feeling. and is reminiscent of the Sundays. 'I'm Glad You Didn't Jump Out of the Car', the last of the numbers from the new album, is again sung by Jem, and has a bizarre, Bjork-like sound. 'Bosom', 'Fishes', 'Swallow', 'Long Dead Flowers,' and 'Anatomy of Love' end the set, and, along with the thought of a promised box set which is due out in March, bring this lovely chilled-out evening in dark King's Cross to a glorious end. The photographs that accompany this article were taken by Lyse Tranzeat.



Picture Gallery:-
Shelleyann Orphan - Water Rats, London, 1/12/2008


Shelleyann Orphan - Water Rats, London, 1/12/2008


Shelleyann Orphan - Water Rats, London, 1/12/2008


Shelleyann Orphan - Water Rats, London, 1/12/2008


Shelleyann Orphan - Water Rats, London, 1/12/2008



Post A Comment


your name
ie London, UK
Check box to submit


digital downloads




most viewed articles






most viewed reviews











Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors