The first new B&S material since last year’s patchy ‘Fold Your Hands Child’ album also marks the debut of guitarist Stevie Jackson on A-side duties.
As such, Jackson’s more upbeat vocals make a pleasant change from Stuart Murdoch’s winsome tones and ‘Jonathan David’ is a suitably strident effort for him to display his abilities, although nowhere near as frenetic as last year’s superb ‘Legal Man’.
Jackson’s backed up by Murdoch and Isobel Campbell on the choruses as he declares “I was Jonathan to your David”. There’s plenty of keyboard action, with both piano and organ to the fore, along with some noticeably louder drumming. Another worthy effort from a band who seem to have pretty much perfected the art of churning out a fine succession of three-minute singles.
Second track ‘Take Your Carriage Clock And Shove It’ finds Mr Murdoch back on vocal duties in a string-drenched tale of a company man who, on receiving his retirement gift, finally lets out his true feelings about his job.
As is often the case with B&S, the gentle music is juxtaposed against the more bilious nature of the lyrics. Some lovely steel guitar manages to blend into the classical framework seamlessly. Another fine fanfare to the common man.
The third track is a studio version of long-time live favourite ‘The Loneliness Of The Middle Distance Runner’. Sounding as if it dates from around their second album ‘If You’re Feeling Sinister’, musically it’s more of a black and white snapshot than the full-colour of their recent efforts, with sparser arrangements, but yet still possesses a certain charm.
Simon P Ward
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