Friday, 2 November 2012

Blyth Power "Better to bat" 12'' 1989

As the cover will tell you, Blyth Power love cricket. In fact, they love it so much that they organize a yearly festival called the Blyth Power Ashes, where you can witness a live performance of the band and take part in a cricket match. Now, I am hardly a cricket expert as I don't even know the rules but the perspective of such a pleasant time could convince me to learn to bat.

"Better to bat" was the last record Blyth Power did for Midnight Music before the band created their own label, Downwarde Spiral Records. At the time of the recording, they had recruited a new female vocalist who happened to be one of Dan's singers. This is pretty much vintage late 80's Blyth Power, with epic and dramatic songs that will have you sing along in taverns of yore. There was also the participation of none other than Attila the Stockbroker. There is some keyboards and violin thrown in the mix as well and the songs are a bit slower and even more medieveval-sounding if that makes in the sense. Listening to them, I picture Blyth Power as a band of jesters, minstrels, some sort of postmodern trickster figures.

"Better to bat" is a song taking place in a justice court that has a man condemned to death because he won't say a word; "When a knight won his spurs" is an interpretation of a traditional song about the disappearance of knights and dragons and ogres, well this kind of things, and how evil creatures were metaphors for the evils of this world; finally, "The execution song" is a long song about the execution (captain obvious!) of a young man under communist rule. The song is quite moving as he is shot by the firing squad, he realizes that the rifles, the bullets and everything pertaining to his death have been made by his fellow workers and himself. A romantic revolutionary song.

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