ANDY WHITE – Time Is A Buffalo In The Art Of War (Floating World FW046)

Time Is A Buffalo In The Art Of WarThe first time I saw Andy White he still looked like Bob Dylan circa 1966 – I think I admired his nerve. I’ve tried to keep up with him since then and there are a couple of passages in his autobiography that I still like to quote. Time Is A Buffalo In The Art Of War is his fourteenth studio album in a thirty-five year career and it’s about the things that his music has always been about. In fact, there is a quotation in the booklet that sums it up: “It’s our world and this is how I see it”.

Andy is supported by long-time associate Rod McVey on keys and saxophone, son Sebastian on drums and John Dreyfus providing strings (synthesised?) with extra brass from Kelly O’Donohue and Renn Picard. There are only nine tracks but several of them are quite long. Even when he just had an acoustic guitar Andy was a rocker at heart and here he takes the opportunity here to stretch out a bit. For all the messages in his songs he hasn’t forgotten that music is also supposed to entertain.

The first track is the eight minute ‘Last Train’ and as to what it’s about, please see above. It’s built on an insistent rhythm which I’m sure is McVey doing something clever and Andy plays guitar and bass and enjoys a workout at the end. The song is blessed with not one, but two killer hooks and provides an overview of our problems. If we don’t get on the train we’ll reach the point when ‘The Shit Hits The Fan’ and the second song poses a series of questions; where will we be? what can we do? where’s the plan?

‘Running Round In Circles’ and ‘Friday Night’ both have the vibe of nostalgia with passing references to David Bowie and Bob Dylan. Of course, there’s a lot more than that going on but “Rock and roll will never ever die”. ‘Armageddon #4’ has a rallying call amongst its despondency and ‘Fly If You Want To’ is a sort of lopsided love song. I’ll confess that I haven’t really got to the heart of the other three songs yet but each time I play the record some lines stick in my mind. The thing is; even if you don’t take in the messages first time, or at all, these are still bloody good songs and I’ll be happy when I’ve finished writing so I can just sit back and listen to them.

Dai Jeffries

Artist’s website: https://www.andywhite.com/

‘The Shit Hits The Fan’ – official video:

Andy White announces new album

Andy White

Andy White is a Belfast singer-songwriter whose first EP Religious Persuasion, and 1986 debut album Rave On Andy White kick-started a career which includes twenty albums, two books of poetry and a novel. Writing with Peter Gabriel, forming ALT with Tim Finn and Liam O Maonlai, touring the world many times over with his acoustic guitar and winning Ireland’s top music awards, Andy has lived in Belfast, Dublin, Switzerland and, currently, Melbourne. Time Is A Buffalo In The Art Of War is his fourteenth studio album.

Andy’s new album takes over from where his previous release The Guilty & The Innocent left off. It zooms out to come to terms with the big picture we’re all faced with—socially, politically, personally. The album’s subtitle is, “It’s our world, and this is how I see it”. The Guilty & The Innocent named names. Ten short acoustic rock ‘n’ roll songs about Trump, the Manchester bombing, Grenfell and the Unheard, with the album featuring the glorious title track in which Andy stepped back from judgement, realising that this is part of the problem and that “the guilty and the innocent are the same as you and me”.

Time Is A Buffalo In The Art Of War takes that thought and puts it on the last train out of the UK along with a troupe of characters hurtling through the night. ‘The Shit Hits The Fan’ confronts the reality of the situation in a series of questions. ‘Running Round In Circles’ is the response. ‘One In A Million’ starts in a Belfast bus station, love and death on the narrator’s mind, and leads to ‘Friday Night’ and a contemporary connection with a spirit from 1989. ‘Fire Engines Blue Trains And Trucks’ builds from toy cars to smart bombs and leaves us on the dark side of the moon. ‘Fly If You Want To’ gives equal weight to taking it or leaving it—as long as good records are playing in the bar. ‘Armageddon #4’ is the big picture writ large, freedom marching for “a better future than today”. ‘Everyone’s Gone To France’ – perhaps the Last Train has made it across the Channel. Perhaps not.

The album features an orchestra, a brass section, Andy’s son Sebastian on drums and Rod McVey – multi-instrumentalist and co-producer of Andy’s early albums.

“I had finished throwing things at the telly and pointed my finger at the sky. I was listening to Imagine, feeling the power of truth being able to turn around an apparently hope-free situation. The strength of our aspirations towards freedom. I was listening to The War on Drugs, big sound, guitar solos, songs stretching out as far as they wanted to. If you have a lot to say take all the time you want to say it. That’s what we did.” ANDY WHITE

Artist’s website: https://www.andywhite.com/

‘The Shit Hits The Fan’ – official video: