“You can’t go back” sings Godfrey Birtill. Then he not only goes back, musically speaking, he sets up house and invites you in for a party.
I’ve got to say that, from the title song, I expected a lot more of a reflective, folky kind of a sound for the rest of the album. In fact you have to wait until the last track, to hear anything like that again. What you get instead is a musical blend that disproves Birtill’s own lyric in the curiously titled ‘We’ve Gone (Beep, Beep)’: “You can’t go back.” Birtill not only goes back (musically) he sets up house there with a mixture of 60s style pop (even using the line “twist and shout”) and 70s style retro rock (with what I’m sure is an original Hammond organ) and some fab jazz trumpet.
Some tracks are live, probably from a pub somewhere in Birtill’s home county of Lancashire or adopted Sheffield; his style certainly suits – and creates, that kind of atmosphere. Not quite ‘unplugged’ – a bit too much electric bass and drums for that, but close enough. This album is a load of un-stuffed, good hearted fun. The lyrics are a bit variable, with a few worn out worship lines, but there’s plenty of creative and memorable word art to compensate: “playing in the fields of grace”, “hijacked into paradise” and the whole of ‘Love Beyond Measure’ - Birtill’s lyrical rewording of the beatitudes. If there was one more track like this, I’d give it 5 stars.
April 29th, 2013 - Posted & Written by Les Ellison