The Sound Of Salvation 2013
After 38 years in limbo, an artifact is rediscovered – lost and found to be still relevant and chime in with the times.
With all illusions of fame shattered, by 1975 Trevor Midgley was no longer an active player in the music field and took up, like many others artists did, a proper job. But his creative juices kept on flowing and, when TRACTOR, his stable mates on John Peel’s Dandelion label, proposed to preserve new songs for posterity, Beau agreed. Still, the follow-up to 1971’s "Creation" remained unreleased until now, and while some of its parts saw the light of day on "Edge Of The Dark", the original album integrity looms large only when it’s presented as a whole.
Recorded over two consecutive days, the fourteen pieces on offer shows Beau at his most refined. His gentle ballads come often loaded with heavy messages and historical references, as is the grimly glorious plague tale “The Roses Of Eyam” or “The Commodore,” which briskly places the artist’s beloved naval theme in the political seas, but all the songs are invariably warm in their transparency. Not for nothing, the cycle opens with “Love Is” that doesn’t break from reality and, together with “The Wine Was Sweeter Then” gravely, if exquisitely, reminds us how important the “understanding of value” is to any emotion, no matter how romantic it gets.
“I judged the end results,” he posits in the almost 9-minute-long “Why Do You Laugh?” going for an acute reportage of the British bleakness of the day and stating paradoxically “I never comment,” so in the tradition of his own, Midgley manages to wrap philosophical matters in the cryptic, if alluring images and arresting alliteration. Thus, the colonialism-lambasting “Cartoon” comes across as such a catchy parable, while the “what if” unfurling of “Bristol Museum” borders on raga, and “Shanty Town” offers a delicate folk exercise for Beau’s 12-string acoustic. It would sound again in 2011, on "The Way It Was" that launched the veteran’s elegant comeback but in reality, as this missing link shows, its ringing never really went away.