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Chris Helme - The Rookery | FESTIVALPHOTO

Chris Helme - The Rookery



Chris Helme first rose to fame as the front man of John Squire’s post Stone Roses band ‘The Seahorses’. His latest solo album, "The Rookery" was recorded in just 9 days at The Rookery, a country hideaway nestled in the wilds of the Yorkshire Dales. That's an impressive feat - 9 days is very little time to record a full album, but that shows his experience.

"Pickled ginger" is an unsual track. Opening with the what sounds like a double bass being tuned, it then moves into the main part of the track. There's some lovely gentle guitar and what sounds like woodwind instruments (but these days may be keyboards amde to sound like that), and the track gently meanders along. It's a beautiful track but it is very different to the rest of the album and as such feels out of place.

"Longway round" is built around the acoustic guitar and vocals, and with its brisk pace it's got a definite rock feel, but it really allows his voice to show it's soulful side.

"Darkest days" is slower and while still being based mainly around the guitar and vocals with the percussion kept to a minimum, it's got a very different feel to it. It's another great track.

For me though "The spindle & cauldron" is the standout track. It's got a darker heavier feel to it, and for me sounds to have a sixties or seventies rock sound with it's mix of darkness and the guitars - Led Zeppelin and Jefferson Airplane spring to mind.

"Daddies farm" is a very different song - it's still guitar driven but it has a much lighter Britpop feel to it, particularly with the strong chorus, giving the song a very different feel to "The spindle & cauldron"

This is a very diverse album, but despite that, "Pickled ginger" still feels out of place. There's no doubting it's a great track, but it just doesn't belong on this album in my opinion.

A very good album - well worth checking out.

"The Rookery" is out now via Little Num Num Music

Track listing:

1. Pickled ginger
2. Longway round
3. Darkest days
4. Plane
5. The spindle & cauldron
6. Blindeye
7. Pleased
8. Daddies farm
9. Summer girl
10. Set in stone
11. Good to be in love

Writer: Anthony May
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