The Lord of the House of Pomona, he say:
"John Matthews (ex-The High) is the new singer and while the music isn't
as folky eclectic weird as before, it's now, well, beautiful and elegiac, man. But still
loud in places too!"
"Touchingly poetic and rather hypnotic," - Q.
"Their future looks bright," - The Times.
"Proper deviant music, a misshapen hybrid of lo-fidelity folk and septic
indie rock." - NME.
"Dark and light, and quite beautiful too..." - The Guardian."
Singer wanted, singer found. John Matthews to be exact. Last seen fronting The High, Matthews
has lain low for the past decade. After The High were dropped by London Records on delivery
of their second album, he left the music scene, anxious to run at life. He travelled extensively,
the United States and Mexico mainly, returning intermittently to his native Devon.
Meanwhile, Black September founder, Mark Black, needed a new vocalist after Geoff Read
left to concentrate on a burgeoning painting career (fine art, not living rooms). He knew
who he wanted - the man who had sung so hauntingly on one of his favourite ever albums, Somewhere
Soon by The High.
He put out several appeals and Matthews was eventually tracked down. He heard the roughs
for Black September's second album and agreed to join immediately. ''We hit it off straight
away,'' said Mark. ''He is completely without ego and pretence. He understates everything,
which few people seem to do these days. I wanted to make a quiet but tuneful record and
I think we've done that, though it did end up pretty loud in places.''
Also joining Mark and original drummer, Miles Moss, is guitarist Christian Brett, formerly
of dark-rock nearly men The War Poets.
The new album was written almost entirely in the studio using as many first-takes as possible. "Although
I love the first album I think it was possibly over-cooked in places,'' said Mark. ''This
one has a real edge but like before it is massively varied.''
The record was engineered by Pete Troughton, most famous for his work with Kinesis and
Elbow. ''I suppose we're somewhere between these two bands sonically,'' said Christian.
Each member of Black September is a music obsessive and the LP has a few of ideas 'borrowed'
from elsewhere. They cover David Bowie's Be My Wife and Black Sabbath's Changes (recorded,
incidentally, long before Kelly and Ozzy slaughtered it) but also pay tribute to ATV, Modern
English, Violent Femmes, Karen Beth, Be Bop Deluxe, Minnie Ripperton, The Mob and Robert
Calvert in other places.
They have created a warm, honest album teeming with ideas and invention. A great start