I enjoy a good story. I like a narrative arc and I like to learn about the origins of things, relationships especially. How did this come about? I’m always curious as to the genesis of things. Sometimes it’s just dumb and mundane stuff like we met at a bar or a star exploded and a billion years later people started walking upright and making music together.
The origin story for the folksy South London duo began on the football pitch (Americans read soccer field) where fathers Derek Wylie and Brian Coulton watched their sons play as they bonded over a love of music and guitars. This eventually led to the pair meeting up every Thursday night to jam and hammer out the songs. These Thursday night sessions eventually led to the pair naming their outfit Thursday Night Shift, and the songs that they worked on eventually became their debut record Feast.
Feast is a record full of stories in itself. It’s themes touch on the everyday concerns of family life and recollections of past relationships which ended badly, illness and death, and also delves into more worldly territory touching on American hate crimes, innocent children ravaged by war, as well as a hopeful song for the peace that has finally, after so many decades finally descended on the troubled Northern Ireland.
Throughout Feast Wylie and Coulton, supported by drummer Temi Gordons set a tone with each of their diverse offerings. The opener “It’s Over” is a six-minute bildungsroman. It’s an outpouring of emotion lyrically as well as musically as the band sort of makes a cohesive rock jam session of song. Next on “Trying Too Hard” we get a bit of the confessional Irish folksiness. Contrast this with the serious and focused pin pricked guitar and drum builds of the mesmerizing “Reception Fading.”
Later on Feast we are treated to the alt country acoustic drippings on “Eclipse” and then taking the same vein with a more upbeat tempo and much happier mood on the politically charged “Wasps & Bees” which despite its political leanings is very danceable and fun. Feast closes it out with the bluesy, hopeful rocker “Kingdom Of Mourne” on which the band lets loose and rocks out while lamenting on the end of a tumultuous cultural history.
Feast is a record which lives up to its name. These songs need to be gone over again and again to realize the meanings behind them. But as anyone who truly appreciates art in all forms and the craftsmanship of a hard wrought song will agree, the rewards are worth the effort.
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