Liverpool is one of those places that has its own soundtrack (and I don’t mean the buskers singing Beatles songs for the tourists), geographically, Liverpool doesn’t sit too far from Dublin so it’s no surprise that Irish folk music has soaked into the Liverpool musical identity.
Fans of Prowse’s former bands, ‘Pele’ and ‘Amsterdam’ will be familiar with his work, the tales of the everyman and his ability to describe life being part of the city draw comparisons with the artist L.S.Lowry, both put you on the grey pavements among the industry and the people.
‘The Ballad of North John Street’ could almost be the theme tune to this part of England, drawing in brass and Irish music, it’s a rousing song that sticks with you long after it’s finished and is a reminder that sometimes the best subject matter for music is everything you hold dear. ‘American Wake’ tells the story of a young Irishman taking his chances on the great migration to America, leaving behind a mother and way of life in search of another, the final lyric is heart-breaking.
Musically, the album doesn’t put a step wrong, it falls somewhere between indie, folk and rock and reminds me at times of Deacon Blue or Del Amitri’s ‘Change Everything’ album how it explores the ever changing, ever progressing city and knowingly picks at the status quo through clever lyrics and often intimate stories.
There are moments of wonder here, ‘She Sings Ava Maria’ is a foot stomping tune that has more going on than first shown, it received a few repeats to truly take in all of the ingredients.
Ian Prowse has long been a songwriter with fans in high places, with this offering, it’s easy to see why.