Saturday, 5 January 2013

Bridie Jackson and The Arbour: Single Launch

Scarecrow/All You Love Is All You Are
Bridie Jackson and The Arbour
One might have known it wouldn't be much into the New Year before Bridie Jackson and The Arbour made another appearance here at Marsh Towers.

This time last year we were all excited about their impending self-release of Bitter Lullabies and the launch show at The Sage. Now, following an immensely productive 12 months, Bride and The Arbour (Rachel Catriona, Jenny Nendick and Carol Bowden) following up their recent signing to Debt Records with the release of their first official single.

The single, scheduled for release on 11 February, is the equivalent of a double A side from the height of the vinyl era.

Scarecrow is something of a surprise. Unusually, the song isn't one of Bridie's own compositions but was written instead by Louis Barabbas (Debt Records stablemate and frontman for The Bedlam Six). It is a dark tale of a bride murdered ''on the night before my wedding day'', with the titular scarecrow ending up wearing the discarded wedding dress and leaving the deceased bride, narrating from the grave, appealing for it's return.

The song borders on traditional folk rather more than Bridie's usual repertoire; perhaps it's a small step towards a general broadening of the Arbour arsenal (just as Mucky was on Bitter Lullabies.) although the subject matter remains dark and dangerous. Naturally, the Arbour trademarks we know and love - the wonderful strings, the unparalleled harmonies - are present and correct.

This version of All You Love Is All You Are is a new one. 16 seconds shorter than the album version, it is a tighter song that has lost none of its power. I have spent some time today comparing the respective versions and the production of the newer of the two is definitely crisper, with both the vocals and instruments sounding cleaner.

It's pointless trying to draw comparisons to other artistes. Nobody I have heard makes music anything like Bridie and The Arbour. Maybe one day somebody will - imitation will doubtless remain the sincerest form of flattery  - but the original will always be the best.

Everything is now in place for Bridie Jackson and The Arbour. The original music, fused with the deep, moving lyrics and unique delivery have been there for some time but now the label deal and the striking, evocative artwork are in place everything is ready for the next big leap forwards.

Now is the time for you to make arrangements to catch them live. Fortunately, a tour of North East England is coming up very soon.

Impending Live Shows

31 January: Middlesbrough, Folklines
1 February: Jarrow, Bede's World
2 February: Berwick, The Watchtower
8 February: Newcastle, Cluny 2 (official single launch)
9 February: Hexham, Moot Hall

Some of my earlier features on Bridie Jackson and the Arbour can be found here and further details are available on their official website.

No comments: