Phil ‘Swill’ Odgers is well known as one half of the legendary joint vocal strike force of The Men They Couldn’t Hang. He is also highly regarded as a solo singer/songwriter in his own right and this brilliantly fresh new album brings his songwriting prowess into sharp, bright, focus.
Lyrically this is a collection of unique tales with cinematic imagery - from kitchen sink realism and social commentary to technicolor splendor. The album, in the main, was recorded in the studio built for Kirsty MacColl by Steve Lillywhite in their family home in Ealing.
The studio resonates with musical history and Phil was also lucky enough to be able to use guitars previously owned by Kirsty. Musically the album has many levels – it takes Phil Odgers’ warm melodic voice and rhythmic strumming as a starting point, adds a bit of double bass, fiddle and lead guitar in all the right places. It’s never crowded.
‘The Train’ has a genuine Johnny Cash feel …in fact, on that track, Swill played the actual Martin guitar once owned by Johnny Cash. ‘Blue Skies And A Saturday Job’ showcases the unusual combination of acoustic guitar with baritone and tenor sax whilst the albums only cover song, ‘Long Stem Rose’, is lovingly embraced by cornet, flugalhorn, trumpet and bass trombone. ‘Mist On The Water’, perhaps the fullest song on the album, has a full string arrangement with violins, violas and cellos adding extra depth. Piano and Drums also make a brief appearance but nothing is overplayed giving the entire album a beautifully understated feel.
Phil Odgers and producer James Knight made a point of only using real instruments and live performances – no auto tune here, this is as real as it gets folks! These organic and passionate sessions have resulted in a magical and deeply accomplished album by the UK’s most underrated singer….
1. The Train
2. Blue Skies And A Saturday Job
3. No Getting Over You
4. Mist On The Water
5. Moving On Again
6. Don’t Let The Bastards Grind You Down
7. Too Cold For Me
8. Long Stem Rose
9. Tomorrow Will Be Fine
10. Eddie Was
11. Half Past 3