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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Monday, December 18, 2006
    Spooky sounds of the A666
    Great discovery: a dub delight, Paul Rooney's Lucy Over Lancashire, on SueMi Records who explain the strangeness thus:

    The record comprises a single voice monologue above and amidst music influenced by dub reggae and Lancastrian post-punk. The voice on the piece is that of Lucy, a 'sprite of the air', an airborne spirit, who is possessing the grooves of the record itself, and is damned to endlessly repeat stories about Lancashire she has been told by the evil and shadowy figure of 'Alan'. She cheerfully relates, partly in Lancashire dialect, a twisted tale about the pivotal role that the English county of Lancashire has in the plans of Satan, ranging from the Pendle witches and the 'dark Satanic mills' of the Industrial Revolution, right up to the bile of the Red Rose Radio phone in shows of Allan Beswick (who also appears on the record). Other Lancashire linked characters mentioned within the work, with names changed or slightly distorted, include Lee Scratch Perry, Marx and Engels, Mick Hucknall of Simply Red, The Fall - particularly the debt that the band owes to dark Lancashire folklore - and the Radio Lancashire On the Wire programme itself, whose longstanding commitment to dub reggae provided one of the inspirations for the work, and on which the piece was first broadcast on 18th November 2006.

    It's out on 12" red vinyl, can be downloaded from the BBC Radio Lancashire On the Wire site (it's 1:27:40 into the show). And if I get the chance between cremations in this funeral-heavy season I'll be taking a trip down to Rochdale's Touchstones arts centre to listen to it in situ as part of the gallery's Art in Communication project. It's silly and lovely, it's sixteen minutes long and it's an absolute scream.

    [Lucifer Over Lancashire is of course, a song by The Fall. 'Alan', I suspect, has been listening to a lot of Fall.]