Cherry Ghost - Live at The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge (25 January 2015) (2LP Gatefold Sleeve)
As the final act before their hiatus â€“ coming after three critically praised albums in a decade - 'Live at the Trades Club Hebden Bridge' is Cherry Ghost performing an intimate, starkly arranged set at the 2015 Heavenly Weekender.Released now for the first time â€“ on double vinyl and download â€“ this is perhaps the best realised collection of songs from Cherry Ghost, the alias of the Ivor Novello award-winning songwriter Simon Aldred. The instrumentation â€“ Aldred is joined on keyboards and light percussion by Christian Madden and Grenville Harrop â€“ brings to the fore Aldred's peerless songwriting, his oak-aged, prematurely wisened baritone.'History' wrote the Quietus in 2014, 'will be kind to Aldred', and this collection proves exactly that â€“ with a bit of time and distance, the songs presented here show a highly singular, highly accomplished songwriter, aspiring to the pop classicism of Glen Campbell or Bill Callahan. All of human life is here â€“ tracking a drizzly Northern gothic of last bus loneliness, late-night Spars, solitary drinkers, factory floors and Gods that betray.And yet, there's more than meets the eye.There's magnetic renderings of his best known songs - '4AM', 'People Help the People', the soaring 'Mathematics' - but surprises reveal themselves.'All I Want' and 'Herd Runners' candidly examine Aldred's sexuality, whilst the seldom heard b-side 'Bad Crowd' reveals Aldred to be a much funnier songwriter than remembered. What runs right through Aldred's work, however, is a yearning â€“ a much tested faith in romance â€“ so no wonder that the album ends on its most optimistic notes, at the darkest point of winter nestled in the West Yorkshire valleys, promising clear skies ever closer.