‘Twelve Strings to the Beau’ from Beau – ‘after all these years’(August 08, 2013)
There is a sense of privelidge in listening to this album. It’s a bit like discovering treasure in a long-sealed tomb or opening the secrets of a long-lost manuscript. Now before this gets too spooky let me fill in the blanks. ‘Twelve Strings to the Beau’ from Beau (aka Trevor Midgley) was originally laid down in 1975 but situations changed, time flew away and the album went into cold storage to be abandoned for 38 years. In a classic example of synchronicity at work, a blog post regarding Beau’s work raised the album from the dusty vaults and ‘Twelve Strings to the Beau’ became the fourth album to be released on The Sound of Salvation label.
Beau was the first artist to record for the Dandelion record label, the label formed by radio DJ and music icon John Peel back in 1969, so this man has been around the block more than once. And to be fair that level of experience is reflected in every song on this album. These are fourtenn original, classic narrative songs with incredibly involving lyrics, laid over technically superb 12-string guitar and delivered by an absorbing voice.
No doubt about it, Beau can tell a story. Like the work of all good storytellers, some of them will fascinate, others amuse, while others will force you to confront images you may not want to think about. The lyrics range from hopeful through despondent to acerbic, the tales they tell move effortlessly from wartime fantasy ‘Bristol Museum’, through melancholy observance ‘The Roses of Eyam’ and frightening child abduction ‘Miss Alice Preece’ to the acidly sarcastic ‘Why Do You Laugh?’ and all through the 12-string lays down an intricate and entrancing web.
‘Twelve Strings to the Beau’ is out on The Sound of Salvation label, SOUND 001, in LP format on limited edition heavyweight vinyl, and the years have done nothing to diminish its quality and appeal.
Reviewer: Dan Holland