Proper Music 2013
Star squire gets his influences in a twist – with a shake, rattle and pelvic thrust.
Having this guitarist in the back of your band is a marker of status and serious business – just ask Roger Waters – but when Fairweather Low gets to the fore, fun is guaranteed for all. Fools rushing in, keepin’ on knockin’, gettin’ a witness: the enlightened ones will jump on the milestones generously scattered over the veteran’s rootsiest albums in years, yet for all the lyrical in-jokes, it’s the chops that rule the game here. Harking back to the innuendo-filled innocence field of rock’s nascence and sneering at today’s scene in “La La Music” with its soulful testifying, Andy and his ensemble incite the listener to swing their hips from “Dance On” and further on, while the life-lived sensation seeps through energizing it all, sharing wisdom and wrapping the songs in an effortless clout.
The call-and-response in “Unclouded Day” is a pinnacle of such a catchy approach, as its march blows off the deceptive retro dust that covers the nostalgia-nurturing likes of “Let Me Be Your Angel” where picking is given a soft, ’40s patina. Still, even the balladry of “Hard Way To Go” offers a good deal of zip to match the heavy roar of “Breakin’ Chains” which marries sharp riffage to a Diddley beat and a jazzy, sleazy lick. With a “more is less and less is more” maxim for a motto, the main man’s twang bounces off Dave Bronze’s bass and Paul Beavis’ drums in “Roll Ya Activator” and engages Nick Pentelow’s sax in cutting the acoustic rug. But delicate undercurrent of “Mother Earth” brings a tear to the party – only to hide a smile when the step stumbles upon a rock steady groove – before “You’ll Never Beat The Devil” adds an organ shuffle to the proceedings.
One for the money, two for the show? Hardly so. The anger at the ways of the world tempered and balanced with humor: that what it takes to stay in the zone and keep a tone. And Andy Fairweather Low find the most buzzy spot to be in.