Pete Lawrie, no not the Irish Golfer, or Austrian American actor famed for his sinister or mysterious characters (That's spelt Lorre, I knew that!) drives East down the M4 to hole up in the big smoke once more to lay down his album of Southern Blues Country Folk Skiffle Hop Tronica! The Dordogne canoeing, table tennis loving appreciator of classic Nina Simone cuts, as well as the odd bit of Guys & Dolls the musical moves in with his band mates ...."Like the Monkees with worse hair doos" to turn his folk, blues and gospel flavoured tunes to the attention of a wider audience.
Welsh Liverpudlian Lawrie has been trying to get the album finished now for more than a year. To help it on its way he has put out his latest single from it 'All That We Keep'. Having been 'discovered', and signed by Rollo from Faithless Lawrie has struggled to get closure on the album due to creative proliferation. It seems nailing down the final few tracks has not been easy. At least they agreed on a single.
All That We Keep starts as if it were a reworking of Antony & The Johnson's Free At Last with the distorted radio tuning and the extracted speech pattern. After the brief few opening seconds the similarities all but end. Lawrie immerses himself deep in the song. His rasping, throaty and ragged vocals soak the music with heavy emotional overtones drawn from one who you would guess has lived life a little.
The song itself is out of season, no fresh scents of summer here...
"She's gone on a winters breathe, and if you find her then keep what's left.
She don't feel like no love of mine, and the storm don't care what it leaves behind."
The chorus has a wonderful harmony to it which is set alight by soaring strings, a looping bass line and some great use of keyboards. Pete's voice is full of depth and its multi-faceted delivery keeps the track interesting. Building as it plays out it then starts as it finishes with more words of wisdom about keeping birds in boxes. Love Is All That We Keep, apparently.
Pete Lawrie's journey through life may make an interesting album. Hither Greens new resident could make his songs about death and dreams worth all his efforts of the last year or so. Rollo Armstrong obviously hopes so....
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