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Roddy Hart and the Lonesome Fire - Roddy Hart and the Lonesome Fire

  by Andy Cassidy

published: 14 / 8 / 2013

Roddy Hart and the Lonesome Fire - Roddy Hart and the Lonesome Fire
Label: Middle of Nowhere Recordings
Format: CD


Haunting and anthemic debut album from Glasgow-based singer-songwriter Roddy Hart and his band the Lonesome Fire, which draws comparisons with the very best of early U2 and Simple Minds

I wish I had never heard this album. Allow me to explain. The other weekend I was at the sublime Wickerman Festival and Roddy Hart was on the bill. A combination of too much and poor timekeeping led me to miss their set, and, although I was disappointed at the time, my disappointment doubled when I heard this album – it is absolutely fantastic. From the opening seconds of 'Days are Numbered', with its superb double-tracked vocal and haunting keyboard backing, I knew that I was going to love this record. The song builds slowly, with a lyric whose optimism belies its somewhat pessimistic-sounding title. Hart’s vocals are incredible, and the backing track’s judicious use of synth is testament to both Hart’s taste and his willingness to experiment. The album flows seamlessly, and it is difficult, having heard the album as a whole, to imagine any of the individual tracks in any other context than as part of the whole rock-symphony. Hart’s lyrics are fantastic, and his use of Scottish colloquialism without straying into shortbread tin territory is to be commended. The sound of the album is haunting, with shades of Snow Patrol at their best mixed with the very best of early U2 or Simple Minds. That said, unlike Snow Patrol or Simple Minds, there is no generic sound to Hart’s music, which, despite being unmistakably Celtic-rock, has a sound which is at once familiar and fresh. The album’s standout track was, for me, 'The Big Jump', a more subdued piece than much of the rest of the album, and haunting in its brevity and beauty. It is followed by 'Bright Light Fever', which again balances Hart’s gift for the Scottish vernacular and big, ballsy anthems. Listening to the album with the memory of Wickerman fresh in my mind, it is all the more disappointing that I missed his set - this record seems made for a summer festival. Wickerman was absolutely fabulous; however, I suspect that it would have been stunning had I caught Roddy’s set. Is it too early to declare an album of the year?

Track Listing:-
1 Days Are Numbered
2 Cold City Avalanche
3 Ghost of Love
4 The Big Jump
5 Bright Light Fever
6 High Hopes
7 Queenstown
8 Bad Blood
9 Not Nervous Anymore
10 Tree of Darkness
11 Forget Me Not
12 In My Dreams I'm Always Losing

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Interview (2013)
Roddy Hart and the Lonesome Fire - Interview
Much acclaimed Glasgow-based singer-songwriter Roddy Hart talks to Andy Cassidy about his new band the Lonesome Fire's debut album, 'Roddy Hart and the Lonesome Fire'

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