BELLOWHEAD – Pandemonium (Navigator NAVIGATOR093)

BELLOWHEAD – Pandemonium (Navigator NAVIGATOR093)Even before the final farewell tour begins Pandemonium – The Essential Bellowhead hits the streets just in time for Christmas lists everywhere. The tracks were reportedly selected by the band themselves and cover the band’s career from E.P.Onymous to Revival.

Bellowhead didn’t launch themselves in a big way back in 2008. There was one gig, then another and rumours of more. I heard them in the early days in a venue that just couldn’t cope with their power – the brass mics were off but, even so, if you were on their side of the auditorium that’s what you heard. Jon Boden was brilliant – a quivering tower of energy, spitting out his lyrics, but no-one could honestly have predicted how big they would become.

Pandemonium is a real party album. It kicks off, quite literally, with ‘New York Girls’ (scheduled to be the next single), ’10,000 Miles Away’ and ‘Roll Alabama’ before throttling back a little with ‘Fakenham Fair’. It’s still a big song but the arrangement allows space for fiddle, melodeon and Pete Flood’s unique percussion to stand out with Paul Sartin’s oboe leading the playout. ‘Gosport Nancy’ picks up the pace again. ‘Betsy Baker’ is nearest they come to a gentle love song and ‘Let Her Run’, ‘Roll The Woodpile Down’ and ‘Yarmouth Town’ return to the nautical themes they so enjoy.

‘Prickle-Eye Bush’ comes from their first EP and is, to be honest, a song that I think is much overdone but Bellowhead do it well, as you’d expect, with funky melodeon from John Spiers. ‘Whiskey Is The Life Of Man’ is another relatively minor song while ‘Cold Blows The Wind’ eschews the usual mournful tone for a more anarchic style before ‘London Town’ wraps up the proceedings. And that’s it – until the lost recordings and the box set appear!

Dai Jeffries

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‘New York Girls’:

Bellowhead – ‘Best Of’ album next month

Bellowhead - 'Best Of' album next month

To coincide with their recently announced farewell tours, and due to popular demand, Bellowhead will be releasing an album of some of the best loved tracks from the band’s five studio albums: Pandemonium – The Essential Bellowhead will be released by Navigator Records on 16th Oct 2015.

Pandemonium includes 13 carefully selected tracks by the 11 band members, designed to represent some of the high points of their stellar 11 year career. Crowd favourite ‘New York Girls’ will be released as the first single.

Track List

1. New York Girls (Hedonism)
2. 10,000 Miles Away (Broadside)
3. Roll Alabama (Revival)
4. Fakenham Fair (Matachin)
5. Gosport Nancy (Revival)
6. Betsy Baker (Broadside)
7. Let Her Run (Revival)
8. Roll The Woodpile Down (Broadside)
9. Yarmouth Town (Hedonism)
10. Prickle-Eye Bush (E.P.Onymous)
11. Whiskey Is The Life Of Man (Matachin)
12. Cold Blows The Wind (Hedonism)
13. London Town (Burlesque)

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