Farewell BeliefGabriel Moreno is a poet and singer-songwriter originally from Gibraltar but now an integral part of the London scene. Farewell Belief was recorded in Vilafant, Catalonia with a multi-national band and follows his debut, Love And Decadence.

The intriguing thing about Farewell Belief is that I can hear Leonard Cohen singing these songs. Gabriel admits that he is influenced by Cohen but this takes influence to a whole new level of homage. Don’t get me wrong, Gabriel isn’t a cut price copy. His accent gives him a distinct voice but references to the military and to dancing draw you back. That said, Leonard would never have written a line like “I am going south to sing with Johnny Cash”.

The opening title track is built on the gypsy rhythms of cajon and violin played by Pablo Campos and Barbara Bartz. That is followed by ‘Nobody Knows Where True Loves Goes’ which is full of ringing guitar tones until it explodes into an electric solo from Pablo Yupton. ‘Dear George’ has an almost-solo acoustic accompaniment while ‘Rosalind’ is straight out of a European nightclub and decorated by Sergio Contreras’ trumpet. The violin initially leads ‘Mary Magee’ over an oom-pah ground but allows Sergio a dirty jazz solo before the final verses.

‘Speak To The Tide’ is probably the most conventional song; a pretty finger-picked guitar and violin arrangement of a story of love and estrangement. At least that’s how it reads to me but many of Gabriel’s lyrics are quite surreal – “the world is a ravenous whale” springs to mind. It is clear that he is a poet at heart and his words read as well as they sing. He borrows a few lines from Yeats but you can’t help but think of Lorca. For all its oddness, the album has a great appeal and when the band is in full flight it is really rather wonderful

Dai Jeffries

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‘Farewell Belief’ – live:

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