Oh I do like to be beside the seaside.well, I did, until I realised that The Violets had hot footed it to London several moons ago, which I suppose is their spiritual home if 'Hush Away' is anything to go by.
Sounding like a cross between a late 60s film noir soundtrack and the morsels from Siouxsie And The Banshees' legendary show at the 100 Club a decade later, 'Hush Away' is all pointedly indirect slabs of guitar and vocal gymnastics courtesy of kohl-smeared, blonde-maned mouthpiece Alixus, which hovers in the verses and swoops like a malnourished vulture in the chorus.
B-side 'In This Way' could be the missing link between Adam Ant's bondage phase and the second coming of Toyah Wilcox as a beetle eating extra in 'I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here'. Whatever, it sounds crisp and wholesome like a piece of frazzled French toast. Born and bred in Southend hmmm, who'd have thought it?
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.