I've been listening to the songs of Bill Pritchard since the late 1980s. He is a man of words (mostly in English, sometimes in French), sharply observed characters, tales of memory and desire, corduroy sweethearts suffering in silence, and a dash of social commentary to boot. He has a poet's ability to create phrases that snag and stay with you. He's apparently much more successful in Europe than he is in his native UK. A fact that, depressingly, doesn't surprise me at all.
Although Pritchard has previously collaborated with other musicians and singer-songwriters (including Frederic Lo and the late Daniel Darc), his latest project is a first as it is with Canadian poet Patrick Woodcock. To date, Woodcock has written nine books of poetry and many reviews. His 2016 collection 'You Can't Bury Them All' may be his best-known work and came after he spent seven years in the Kurdish north of Iraq, Fort Good Hope in the Northwest Territories and Azerbaijan. The book was described as '...harrowing, angry and achingly beautiful,' (as an aside, it is also the only book I know to make reference to one of our own favourite singer/songwriter/artists: Momus). If you do one thing after listening to the new single, track down a copy of the book as soon as you can.
'Lance' is the first release from the forthcoming album of their work together ('Bill Pritchard Sings the Poetry of Patrick Woodcock' ) and is an indication of how well-suited the poet and the songwriter are. Woodcock's words suit Pritchard's delivery and his ear for melody so well. Woodcock has said of the singer-songwriter:
"It was pure joy to work with someone as kind and generous as Bill and to hear him alter my lines while shaping the song. Bills spent months working on this piece. I cannot thank him enough for capturing the rhythm and frustration within my lines."
'Bill Pritchard Sings the Poetry of Patrick Woodcock' will be released on the 5th May on Tapete Records and is available to pre-order from here.
Jay Lewis is a Birmingham based music, movie and arts obsessive. Jay's encyclopedic knowledge of 80s/90s Arts films is a debt to his embedded status in the Triangle Arts Centre trenches back then.
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