Listen With Monger - 'Blood & Brambles' reviewPosted April 04 2014
Well here's a man who likes long a long band name. Currently trading under the name Mikey Georgeson & The Civilised Scene, the main man used to be at the helm of David Devant and His Spirit Wife.
Names aside, however, here is also a man who likes to make quality music over quantities of music which is a delight when you get down to listening to this album, 'Blood & Brambles'. Proceedings begin with 'Curtains Of Zagra' (no idea) which is a Grinderman-esque tune with wild west overtones and a dangerously seductive baritone vocal atop some sumptuous slide guitar. The waltzing ballad of 'Sometimes' is a beautiful Bowie-esque triumph with a sense of humour that soon bleeds in to the romp and pomp of 'Blackberries' which is something like the Pogues with Nick Cave on vocals but with a defiantly English bent. Oh, and horns. Gorgeous, gorgeous horns blasting out like thick, treacly, sexy custard all over the aforementioned blackberries. That's right, sexy custard. Deal with it.
'Turn For The Worse' is a song for closing time at a bar that's only had two people in it all night and you can almost hear the chairs being turned upside down on the tables and the slop trays being emptied out. Things get a little livelier on 'My Heart Bleeds' though as the seven piece band put their all in to a Divine Comedy sized piece of melancholy indie rock with extra blistering guitars for good measure.
There is a child-like quality to 'Level Is Complete' as the guitars and horns ape each other's melodies and that deep, rich vocal comes in like Johnny Cash singing you a funny song to cheer you up after you've scraped your knee (having said that I'm not sure I'd want Johnny Cash on childcare duties). Recent single 'My Heroine' is up next and has a nice mainstream appeal to it as it bobs along with its bouncing rhythm and jaunty melodies although I'm sure the lyrics would have the one dimensional red-tops up in arms.Being one of my favourite phrases to use whenever my brother makes another bad joke you'd think 'I See What You Did There' would appeal to me and it's not a bad song but I think there are better options elsewhere that sound a little less like Bruch Springsteen trying to cover Pulp. On 'You're Telling Me' the mood shifts a harmonica infused country shuffle but before long 'Briony' begins with an evil cackle and suddenly we're transported to a villainous hall of mirrors with music all around and images of ourselves moving independently of our actions. Rather satisfyingly, the album closes with 'Secrets of Zagra' which returns to the refrain of the opening track to give the album the feel of a TV show that you've tuned in to by mistake but been absolutely captivated by for the best part of an hour. Mikey Georgeson and The Civilised Scene are, I suspect, a project borne more out of a love for creating music than a need to be famous or adored by the masses but if they were to set up a cult and hand our brochures on the high street then I might be tempted to attend a meeting. Just to see who else turned up if nothing else.