Release Year: 2015
- Gladstone Street (Tempest)
- More Is Never Enough
- Sleepwalking Emma
- Sunlight In The Morning
- ’76, It Was Hot
- Cupboard Love
- I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud
- Sur La Cure
- Sting In The Tail
- Magic Corner
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‘Magic Corner’ is an album that fires the imagination immediately with the dramatic opening track ‘Gladstone Street’ (Tempest). The song, Inspired by a visit to a wet and windy Sunderland in early January, has real turbulent energy to stir the emotions. Waves smash against the harbour wall, a spurned lover is locked out in the cold, plastic bags loop the loop, swings creak eerily in the playground. ‘Gladstone Street’ begins with the sound of a howling wind at night whistling down a red brick terraced street. When Pete’s rythmical acoustic guitar then enters the scene along with the vocals, the green light appears for a musical storm to really kick in as heavy electric guitar, bass, and Andy Smith’s powerful drums all join in. The album ‘Magic Corner’ is now well and truly underway.
‘More Is Never Enough’ is a song with a simple beauty and in contrast to ‘Gladstone Street’ features just acoustic guitar, minimal understated bass, tambourine and vocals. A wah wah acoustic guitar solo also comes in half way through. ‘More Is Never Enough’ is a commentary on the age old problem of too much of life’s cake still going to the overindulged few.
‘Sleepwalking Emma’ has a medieval haunting quality emanating from Pete’s vocals and acoustic. It tells the sad tale of Lady Emma of Ullswater. Legend has it that Lady Emma lived near the shores of the beautiful Ullswater in what is now known as Lyulph’s Tower. In the legend she pines for her love Sir Eglamore, who is away fighting, so much that she sleepwalks through the woods close to the perilous edge of the Aira Force waterfall. One night her love Sir Eglamore returns and he sees Emma sleepwalking above Aira Force and calls out to her but she does not hear his cries. Sir Eglamore decides to go to her and touch her to awake her from her trance-like state but Emma is startled by his touch and falls into the crashing waters below. Emma is retrieved but dies in her knight’s arms and Sir Eglamore lives out the rest of his days as a hermit in the woods near the shores of Ullswater. Lady Emma’s ghost is said to wander the area around Aira Force to this day. Not a cheery tale although there is a crumb of solace to know that Lady Emma was aware her knight had finally returned before she died in his arms.
“although the knight lived out his days a hermit by the burn, he knew Emma his good love had seen her one true love return”
‘Sunlight In The Morning’ features great harmonies from Pete’s vocals and a broad woody depth emanating from the acoustic guitar captured superbly by producer Sam Parkinson. This woody depth and harmony epitomizes the gentle nature of the song.
After the serene ‘Sunlight In The Morning’ ‘Laughter’ galvanizes the senses immediately with power from Pete’s rocking vocals, electric guitar, bass and Andy Smith’s lively drums. It’s a song inspired by Nelly the family border collie. For those who press play….hopefully it will reward you with at least a smile…..or even the odd crazy belly laugh!!
”76, It Was Hot’ has a dream-like nostalgic quality and takes a look back at the long hot Summer of 1976. Pete’s haunting vocals and slow lazy acoustic encapsulate the otherworldy ‘can’t be bothered’ feel the summer heat invokes.
‘Swim’ describes the almost sensual act of entering a cool mountain lake in Summer. It includes a beautiful vocal melody and acoustic guitar strummed by Pete with just the fingers (no plectrum) to get that softer real natural sound needed for the song. These warm acoustic tones of Pete’s guitar are again beautifully recorded by Sam Parkinson.
‘Cupboard Love’ is (as with the earlier track ‘Laughter’) inspired by Pete’s family border collie Nelly. It’s a humourous look at tea time when the cooking smells emanating from the kitchen are mouth watering and a certain furry friend’s eyes look up as if to say “what’s on offer”!! The song has a great upbeat feel to it with Andy Smith’s drums and Pete’s slide guitar, bass and harmonies all coming together to create a real groove.
Pete has added a captivating vocal melody and beautifully fingerpicked guitar to accompany William Wordsworth’s famous poem ”I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud’. The poem, also known as ‘Daffodils’, was written by Wordsworth in 1804. It was inspired by a walk William took with his sister Dorothy in the Gowbarrow Park area of Lake Ullswater a couple of years earlier. In Dorothy’s journal entry there is reference to an encounter with the golden daffodils which William remembers affectionately “dancing in the breeze’ in his famous poem. Clearly this encounter had a profound affect on Wordworth’s feelings when viewing it retrospectively through his mind’s eye.
‘Sur La Cure’, an instrumental, is a melody that draws its inspiration from the peaceful gentle flowing waters of the River Cure in Burgundy, France (a part of the world visited by Pete & his wife Lou during an extensive 3 month European camping tour undertook in 2009).
‘Sting In The Tail’, named after one of the many superb Lakeland Trails running events (lakelandtrails.org) which Pete has been lucky enough to be part of over the years, is a fast rockabilly type number involving great drum work from Andy Smith, and Pete’s strong vocals, acoustic, electric guitar, and bass. The song has an invigorating pounding feel and, as with ‘Lakeland Trails’ on Pete’s last album, really stirs the senses getting that blood pumping.
The album finishes with the title track ‘Magic Corner’. Here Pete’s harmonies, acoustic guitars, a reggae type bass line and Andy Smith’s fine drum work give the song a beautiful rich broad texture. The track pays homage to a magic corner of the world. In many ways it’s making reference to the Lake District (situated in a magic corner of Northern England) but of course there are many magical places on this amazing planet. Indeed the song could equally be referring to a magic corner of our mind and memory or just an essence that a simple breeze blowing through the trees, or even a city lit up at night can invoke in our feelings. ‘Magic Corner’ is a fitting finale to an inspiring album. May you enjoy it very much!