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Tidal Blues / Weekend In Wales

Alison Statton & Spike

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Album Review

The re-release of Tidal Blues by LTM in early 2006, besides including the original album plus extensive liner notes, included as its bonus tracks the duo's first release, the Weekend in Wales EP. The story behind the five-song effort was a complicated one, but as the notes explain — after the collapse of Weekend, Alison Statton and Spike Williams created a demo sent to Rough Trade which was rejected. The two musicians worked on other projects throughout the '80s, with Statton gaining some attention toward the end of the decade via her partnership with Ian Devine on two albums. Geoff Travis of Rough Trade decided to put up some money for a further demo in 1991, which was recorded by Statton and Williams plus a number of guests, including Phil and Andrew Moxham (both of whom would appear on later albums by the duo), in a single day's session at a Cardiff studio. Perhaps inevitably, that demo was rejected as well, but the five tracks saw the light of day on Weekend in Wales in 1993, preceding Tidal Blues by a year. It's nearly of a piece with Tidal Blues, thanks to the similar personnel on both, as well as a shared general aesthetic with links both to Weekend and the Devine albums in their breezy, jazz-pop-tinged feeling. For all the haste in the songs' production (or perhaps in part because of it), the performances are often sprightly and bright, Statton's warm voice and Williams's brisk guitar lines at the core. "A Greater Notion," which later opened Tidal Blues, appears here in a nearly similar take (the notable difference being Neil Gerstenberg's sax, which appears throughout the EP), while "Missing You (For Freddie)" is the bittersweet highlight, with mournful strings leading the way.


Born: March, 1958

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s

Best known as the articulate and feather-light voice of Young Marble Giants, Alison Statton was in several recording projects after the demise of that cultish post-punk band. Shortly after the breakup of her first major band, she formed Weekend with a couple of fellow Cardiff natives, who released a full record and a batch of singles. Around the same time, she appeared on some of the Gist's recordings, a group helmed by former YMG mate Stuart Moxham. During the mid-'80s, she took an extended break...
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Tidal Blues / Weekend In Wales, Alison Statton
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