Purple Pyramid 2019
Acclaimed author welcomes his followers on a trip to an imaginary gig in alternative reality’s Louisiana.
For all his pen-as-sword mastery, Michael Moorcock’s credentials as musician has never been much appreciated, even though he not only wrote lyrics for HAWKWIND and BLUE ÖYSTER CULT but also performed a couple cuts on "Warrior On The Edge Of Time" and ran THE DEEP FIX of his own, on and off, for nigh on four decades now. “Live At The Terminal Café” is this project’s fourth outing which, despite the crowd noise and handclaps on “The Effects Of Entropy” – a gloomy slice of spoken word with a sinister prog for a backdrop – wasn’t recorded on-stage; instead, the concert that’s taking place here belongs, in fact, to the veteran’s sci-fi narrative – a wild frontier of cosmic sort, where a few memorable characters hang around in space bars.
Moorcock might not be the best singer in the world, yet it’s impossible to not fall for his roar on the cajun-tinged “Terminal Café” or the country-tinctured romp of “Lou” and not to feel the warm booming of his voice. Sweetly romantic on “The Dream Of Eden” which sees Martin Stone’s fluid guitar lines mingle with fiddles, and menacing on “Blood” which muddies vocals to submerge the listener in swampy drama, the harmonica-wielding writer unveils the previously concealed aspects of his talent. Still, while the infectious blues of “A Man Like Me” is bristling with infectious rumble, it’s literary components, rather than melody, that drive most of the pieces on this album.
They roll the epic “Sam Oakenhurst’s Story” into the darkness, towards the piano-propelled take on “St. James Infirmary” – a testament to the Englishman’s understanding of the Delta’s lore – and the sly balladry behind “Mississippi Turn Round” that’s so honeyed it’s dripping with expectancy of new rendezvous with these new acquaintances. Sadly, not all of these are possible: Stone passed away since the record was finished, and Michael himself is almost 80 years old now, so whether the project has a future remains unclear – but “The Terminal Café” is a welcoming station.