PETER NARDINI – Hug (Temple Records COMD2105)

The last time I saw a photo like that depicted on the sleeve of Peter Nardini’s “Hug” CD was one of James Bond (in “Diamonds Are Forever” now you ask) before he was about to kill the character Peter Franks…thought you might be interested in that snippet of trivia. Now, some might find tracks like “Bum” a bit questionable in taste but it’s obvious Nardini couldn’t give a jot and as he proffers his thoughts in scatter-gun style it becomes a blatant case of who gives a toss…take it or leave it. In a way it’s a refreshing philosophy but one that is becoming more prevalent in today’s society and particularly on the ‘acoustic’ scene. Given free reign to spread his wings Battlefield Band’s Mike Katz takes on the role of producer (he also adds guitar, bass, bouzouki, piano, ebow, mandolin, whistles and melodica…please someone stop me before I run out of breath) joined by Ewen Henderson (backing vocals), Ken Donaldson (additional guitar) and the soaring harmonica/percussion of Mike Whellans and fiddler Alasdair White. There, I hope I’ve conjured an image of something to whet your appetite. As you can possibly tell from this scribbling, this is an interesting recording including the drunk’s whispered words of wisdom “A Wish A Wis A Pigeon” with its Lindisfarne styled arrangement and the equally quirky “The Best In Me” with its kind of positive solution to what some (Nardini) would consider awkward questions (a bit like Alistair Campbell on a good day) he seems to at least put the world to rights. This, for those of you wondering is a ‘love song’ of sorts and although a bit skewed is good-time enough to give The Proclaimers a run for their money. An interesting album that won’t be to everyone’s taste but ultimately rewarding if you enjoy a sly look through your own thoughts but didn’t know how to express them [how many times can I use the word ‘interesting’ before it gets boring?].