Monday, May 12, 2008

The Great Edwardian Air Raid

Paul Roland - Live at Siena, Italy (1987)

Oooh, weirdo British songwriter time - I love weirdo British songwriters! This week we'll have some non-US artists in the spotlight at the 'Disease, starting with Paul Roland.

Burnt Orchids was the first Roland album I bought, because the clerk at the record store (B-Side on State Street in Madison - still there!) had put a sticker on it that read "Featuring Robyn Hitchcock!" Kind of a lie. I think Robyn is on maybe one song. And honestly, though I liked the songwriting, I thought the arrangements and production stunk. I was ready to file Roland under "Been There, Done That" and go on with my life.

But then he put out another album, Danse Macabre. First - great title. Second - cool cover. Third - awesome song titles. See the title of this post for evidence. I shilled out my cash and scuttled home.

And I was absolutely delighted! To my ears, Roland had reinvented himself as a strange baroquely pop psychedelic songster of the nth degree. Words like "enchanting" and "lovely" drifted through my mind. Danse Macabre is a beautiful little booklike collection, a bunch of tiny stories, delicate and weird and hypnotically entrancing, a complete gem. (Dig around in the old 'Disease to hear it.)

Enjoy this rockin' little set from Roland, doing a few songs from Danse Macabre but mainly tunes from Duel. It's short but fun and worth your time.

Oh, did I mention - buy shit!

1 comment:


Have a look at my blog (in French). You'll see I often refer to Paul Roland who is one of my favourite artists. I had the pleasure and privilege more than 10 years ago to organise two (solo) gigs in my area. I will send you a scan of the fliers if you wish. All the best.