Monday 24 January 2011

Lonely Tourist - Sir, I Am A Good Man

If you ask pretty much anyone out there with an interest in Scottish music, they'll tell you that 2010 was an amazingly good year for it.  In terms of the quality of albums released and the new bands that emerged, it's certainly gonna take a lot of beating!  Well, so far the early signs are very promising for 2011.  One of the reasons for my optimism, is the album which popped through my letterbox before January was even a week old.  Bristol-based Lonely Tourist may not be familiar to you (unless you downloaded the latest free Kowalskiy EP), but for fans of Odeon Beatclub, Glasgow's now-disbanded troop of cult indie-pop merchants, the dulcet tones of a certain Mr. Paul Tierney might just be!

The debut album Sir, I Am A Good Man is released today over here, and a wee belter it is too!  If you were lucky enough to get a hold of the three cracking demo tracks (the title track, Trojan Box Calypso and Watch For The Sharks) on offer last year, then like me, you'll no doubt have been eagerly awaiting the album for a while.  It opens up with the brilliant lead-single Patron Saint Procrastinate, an upbeat number with a staggered layering of guitars, drums and piano which build up to one of the most memorable choruses of last year.  Some way to kick things off!  It's only when you listen closer to the lyrics though, that you realise this upbeatness is masking what seems to be a feeling of frustration and self-deprecation towards his songwriting, summed up by the morbid lines "I could write my own headstone or obituary.  Well here lies Paul, he wrote some pretty bad poetry".  Whether this is merely an innocent subject for a song or a genuine concern of his, I'm not entirely sure.  Although, if it is the latter, then this song alone proves he has absolutely nothing to worry about!

And that pretty much goes for the rest of the album too.  Watch For The Sharks, perhaps my favourite track, is an ode to the ups-and downs of gigging, chock-full of tambourines, handclaps and a singalong refrain, all accompanied by Paul's superb acoustic guitar which is the staple throughout this quality album.  

The aptly-titled Beatclub Chancer, though not about his old band, serves as a wee reminder of what we've been missing since their demise.  To be honest though, on the strength of this album, it's clear there's a lot more to look forward to in the future.  Now, all they've got to do is come back up here and gig.  Sir, this is a very good album indeed!

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