WE ARE BACK !
Better late than never , Where have we been ? Holidaying on some Greek Island ,somehow I don’t think so. More like coughs colds a broken laptop and trail of forgotten passwords . Thankfully we are back, better, bigger, stronger …or something like that. Totally on top of our game , we kick of the closing days of February 2020 with JG musing about Pete Astor . Read on…reader..read on
Think back and two of the mid 80s greatest indie songs may come to mind, ‘Why Does The Rain’ by The Loft and ‘Almost Prayed’ by the Weather Prophets. Pete Astor had a hand in both of them. At the time both bands were riven with personality clashes and perhaps as a result Astor’s songwriting never received quite the attention it deserved, and the elusive jump to the mainstream never actually happened unlike, say, that of Edwyn Collins, whom Astor was every bit as capable as in his heyday. Time hasn’t dimmed his enthusiasms though, and Astor has continued making music, such as his ‘The Wisdom Of Harry’ project in the mid 00’s (I saw one of their gigs in 2004). Currently he’s about to tour as support to the Nightingales, and has also been gigging around France where he’s regarded as something of a cult figure.
While there isn’t a new album from him on the horizon, Tapete records are re-releasing 1992’s ‘Paradise’ as a reminder of exactly why French music magazine Les Inrockuptibles have seen fit to boost his reputation across the channel. Listen to its ten tracks and be made aware, if you didn’t already know, of a genuine talent unjustly neglected by the UK’s often whimsical music industry. Aside from the song writing, Astor was obviously enjoying himself tremendously in the studio while recording the album.
There’s a lot of very fine guitar playing throughout ‘Paradise’ and Astor’s none-too-reflective vocal style is easy on the ear in a conversational manner, a bit like a less overwrought Lloyd Cole or indeed a more direct Edwyn Collins.
It’s Astor’s own enthusiasms of 28 years previously that make ‘Paradise’ an actually enjoyable listen today. Anyone familiar with his music in the audience of one of the upcoming (April/May) Nightingales shows might not encounter the mildly acerbic balladeer of yore and I wouldn’t expect an encore of any of his 80s songs (maybe he does play them though), although I’m certain he can turn in as good a show today as he