the boo radleys always seemed destined to remain in the shade,
despite a brief flirtation with the charts (thanks to britpop).
having infiltrated the airwaves with their celebratory 'wake
up boo' single they, almost immediately, disappeared from
view as they strived to find a home for their vision of guitar
based pop, underlined by true sonic invention. as the hits
soon died off so did the band, with leader martin carr calling
time on proceedings in 1999 and retreating into a period of
but despite disappearing from public view it seems as though
the lad has kept himself busy. having released the mini-album,
'the fingertip saint sessions volume 1', closely followed
by, 'go with yourself' ('fingertip saint sessions volume 2'),
his debut album proper under his bravecaptain persona,
it seems as though carr hasn't lost his touch for exquisite
melody and heartfelt song writing.
as he takes the stage in front of a half full venue with all
the gusto and passion of a man determined to prove his ability,
it's hard to believe that his efforts have been largely overlooked
despite critical acclaim. standing in front of a paisley backdrop
and surrounded by a full band, complete with horn section,
he seems completely at ease with his new found position as
the captain of a brave ship with its course set for familiar
yet uncharted waters.
without relying on his recently released output he seems content
to prove to his doubters wrong and stake his claim as a prolific
and underrated talent. showcasing a plethora of unreleased
material with great assurance he veers from whimsical psychedelia
to esoteric drum and bass stylings with the greatest of ease.
'hermit versus the world' is irresistible with its doe-eyed
wonder, underpinned by some fancy brass action and a distinctly
melancholic edge. new track, 'the sound of wichita', with
its heavy percussion and catchy as hell guitars showcases
an artist in full control of his destiny.
add to that the dreamy psyche of 'where is my head?' and you
can't help but think that if he dropped his trademark cagoule
and spectacles for some facial hair and a tea cosy hat he
may well have been a contender for the mercury prize and greater
public acclaim. it surely is only a matter of time before
this particular captain steers his vessel in the direction
of a receptive and welcoming ocean.
review by rwm (for dotmusic)
if you have any reviews, photos or setlists from previous
bravecaptain live shows, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.