Wednesday, 19 February 2014

KARL CULLEY - ALBUM REVIEW

Karl Culley - Phosphor (Sound Of Jura) 
Karl Culley - Phosphor

What is it with musicians relocating these days? Karl Culley is a North Yorkshire lad by birth but has seen fit to relocate to Krakow. I mean, it's one thing to be a hugely talented indie-folk singer-songwriter but what on earth gives him the right to go off jet-setting as well? The bloody cheek of it. I mean, my Gran was born in Scarborough and the furthest she ever moved was London. Sigh. Anyway, let's give this music a listen shall we? 'Bag Of Tricks' kicks off proceedings with a pleasingly rambunctious folk lilt before giving way to the more subdued 'Dragon Kite' which sees Mr Culley making the most of the rich tones that come from his 1930s guitar. The wonderfully titled 'Icarus and Whisky' is furious paced piece of finger pickery while 'Silver Set Of Bones' is a more lilting tune that shows off more of Culley's soulful vocal and his penchant for the atmospheric.

The press release for this album quotes the Sunday Express as saying Culley is akin to Newton Faulkner and Jose Gonzalez which I can understand but I think that's fairly lazy journalism in all honesty. Culley operates at a more elemental, organic and soulful level than those contemporaries which is all to evident in the likes of 'Be Beloved', 'Runes', 'Spell' and 'Qualifier'. Then again, there is a more commercial and poppy side to this album such as on 'Alcohol' which is a groove and hook laden ode to inebriation. 'Trebuchet' (one of my favourite words from school days, along with osmosis) is a low slung, country and western funeral march while 'In Another Life' is a much lighter, bouncing affair that flits around like an indecisive dragon fly. Final song, 'Blood Spot Constellations', is a brooding but lush piece of blues folk that rumbles and groans with the best of them. I'll forgive Karl Culley his wanderlust as long as he keeps producing music of this calibre. I guess that's the beauty of the internet age - you can produce great music wherever you lay your hat and it won't hamper your career in ways that geography would have done in the past.  

More information: www.karlculley.co.uk

Live Dates:

25th February - Lizard King, Krakow
16th March - Old School Bar, Nowy Sacz
23rd March - Piekny Pies, Krakow
10th April - Folk Rising @ Cecil Sharp House, London
11th April - Loves Cafe, Western-super-Mare
12th April - Pindrop @ The Fisherman's Arms, Hartlepool
15th April - The Blues Bar, Harrogate
17th April - The Met, Bury
18th April - The Basement, York

19th April - The Railway, Cottingham

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