Really happy to find out my album ‘From The Ground Up’ has made Jamendo’s top ten albums of 2017. Continue reading “‘From The Ground Up’ makes Jamendo’s best 10 albums of 2017”
…a hidden treasure of the European underground … (Strangers With Shoes is) a thing of complete and utter beauty.
…in case I haven’t made myself clear, Robin Grey has talent coming out of his ears.
I can’t help but just be thankful to be alive …I’ll probably keep (Strangers With Shoes) on repeat for about three weeks.
Strangers With Shoes is about to enjoy an extended residency on my ipod play list this year …(Robin’s) every day commentary of normal life inject a refreshing shot of energy into a genre which can sometimes get bogged down with too much heavy emotion and feelings.
“my new favourite song contained within is ‘Women’ by Robin Grey, mainly because he sums up most hip-hop songs that have been made in two sharply written verses beautiful in their simplicity and wit”
Taken from a recent review of the golden hour book on http://www.unpeeled.net/ – you can buy the book and cd from http://forpub.com/store/ – an excellent xmas present for sure – it has been keeping me up at night thanks to some truly great poems and stories within.
THE GOLDEN HOUR “Book ii” (Forest Publications)
Well, the book is kind of quiet unless you read it out loud, but the CD sounds like that tent you find in the middle of the madness of one of the larger festivals. You know the tent, the one where you have no idea who any of the people on the stage are, but you find yourself staying there all day just to see who’s on next. The next day you have no idea where that tent is, and don’t want to in case it ruins the magic of the previous day. That’s how it sounds, only on a CD and the names of the people are written in the book attached so you can google them all.
IS IT ANY GOOD?
The Golden Hour is a monthly cabaret night held at The Forest Cafe in Edinburgh which gives space for writers and musicians to mingle and meet and perform to the world. This book and CD is a record of some of the contributors, their poems, stories and songs. I went to The Forest Cafe when I last went to the Fringe and it ended up being the place I hung the most as it seemed to be one of the only places I could shelter from the self congratulating ego wanking that was going on around me, everyone faking smiles that were showing cracks at the edges. I’m not surprised this book and CD is a product of this bastion of warm reality.
WE’LL DO THE CD FIRST
The CD is full of the type of music you expect to hear coming from a small stage, not overly produced and made with instruments that can be easily carried. The sounds and songs that emerge from your speakers are all well crafted and played with obvious passion and hunger, with each track being stamped with an individual personality. With over 20 contributors, including the likes of Billy Liar, Withered hand, Skeleton Bob, Johnny Berliner, Chandra and The Black Diamond Express amongst others( A massive embarrassment of treasures) you may find something you don’t like ( I personally find the Tuberians contribution, ‘Tuberians Have landed’ makes me want to donate my ears to a vivisection lab), but I can almost guarantee that your new favourite song is contained within, waiting to be discovered (with me it is ‘Women’ by Robin Grey, mainly because he sums up most Hip-Hop songs that have been made in two sharply written verses beautiful in their simplicity and wit).
WE’LL DO THE BOOK NOW
Now I have to say that reviewing the book was a task I did not relish. Normally I can do the dishes, or beat off, or sew up the holes in my socks, or get on with any of the other small tasks that fill up my day from waking to unconsciousness whilst listening to the music I’m reviewing, but a book is different. A book is something that requires your complete attention, often silence and an open fire, or a bowel movement. And reading a book that is awful because you have to would be excruciating, but while reading the first story in this compilation, ’When We Were Broke’ by Erika Duffy, all of my fears and worries melted away, in fact everything melted away. It is possibly one of the most beautiful and true stories I have ever read. It’s been a long time since a story has made me choke up. Suffice to say I read on with a relish. Other highlights, which are hard to pick out from a book made up of highlights, include ‘The Birds, Like’ by Phil Harrison, a wickedly captivating tale of told from the point of view of a frustrated bully, and the poem ‘Lunch’ by Aiko Harman, if only because it mentions peanut butter, which in my world is a condiment. Other contributors include Claire Askew, Spencer Thompson, Alan Gillis and Russell Jones, again there are many more for you to discover and enjoy. All in all this collection is a superb little package that you will return to over and over, highly recommended.
REVIEWED BY CHRIS WATSON
Fensepost did a featured artist article on me a few weeks back which I am going to take the liberty of printing below
After last years wonderful EP release, I Love Leonard Cohen, the time has come for London’s Robin Grey to go all out and show why he is truly one of the greatest hidden treasures in the European underground. Hard at work on his sophomore full length release due this fall (follow up to 2007’s Only The Missile), this man seems to be at his best. The transformation of his character is more than impressive. It would certainly not be premature to say that he is at the top of his game.
The charming track “Younger Looking Skin” spills out from his veins like a severed history. He sings to the fools, the damned, and the loved. With every word, every sound composed, he speaks of only the truth on the matters of life that often go unnoticed and the travesties of inadequacies. The most beautiful part of a Robin Grey song is the power of understanding you can feel without actually relate to his experiences at all. Just crack open your finest four dollar wine, and suffer through life with the greatest of ease. Mr. Grey can help you through it all.
Wow. Someone likes my music then. Thanks Ron. The original can be found here – http://www.fensepost.com/main/2009/07/17/robin-grey-feature-artist/
‘Only The Missile’ has been reviewed in the latest edition of Fatea Magazine, appearing alongside another review for good friend of mine Sarah MacDougall who has been staying with me whilst on tour here from Canada, which made me happy. You can read it below or on their site alongside all the others here – http://www.fatea-records.co.uk/magazine/releases.html.
“There are still people that believe that songs have power, that pens, words, notes and guitars are mightier than the sword, that people still take the time to listen. Robin Grey is just such a person.
In “Only The Missile”, he’s put together a set of ten songs that reflect how society can be viewed and the observation of the life that goes on around him. It’s more personal than some, less political with a big p, but none-the-less sharp and cutting. “The Last Time I Saw David” looks at faith and it’s relationship with religion and how it impacts the individual. It’s deep, but not hard going.”
Last week my album ‘Only The Missile’ received an enthusiastic and insightful review on creative commons music blog Catching The Waves. I have reposted a slightly trimmed review below, if you’d like to read the original in all its full glory please click on the following link: http://soundthefreetrumpet.typepad.com/
“Only The Missile is a 10-track album that will appeal to lovers of Leonard Cohen, folk music, introspection, pointed lyrics and open hearts.
The album’s transparent mix warms the listener’s ears while giving centre stage to the understated vocals although Robin can be feisty as well as fluffy. Take ‘The Last Time I Saw David’, an unflinching tale about overcoming religious hypocrisy to reach an atheistic/agnostic state of mind, ensures that Robin will not be booking a gig in America’s Bible Belt any time soon. It’s refreshing to hear a heartfelt song that isn’t all: “I wuv ‘oo; ‘oo wuv me.”
Then there’s the soothing lullaby of The Finchley Waltz (play it to any baby and watch them drop off), a quintessentially English response to the terrorist bombings in London on 7/7:
“I daydreamed for hours in the traffic jam
As the good guys and the bad guys stopped play”
I could recommend any track, but I’ll be unoriginal and suggest the opener These Days, an uptempo mandolin and banjo-laden number with a paradoxically slow but optimistic chorus that will get you singing in the bath and, if you’ve suffered because of the credit crunch, because you’ve taken a bath.*
The title track is a toe-tapper with some wailing harmonica – do harmonicas ever do anything else but wail? – and Your Man is another in a seemingly endless supply of huggable love songs. Swan Song and Five (featuring some very welcome ethnic percussion – bongos, tablas, that sort of thing) bring things to a dreamy close – they’re the aural equivalent of a favourite jumper.
Goodness, what a lovely album. It never ceases to amaze me at what talent is lurking in the darker corners of the net. Please think about sending him a little cash, or, failing that, bake him a cake. He likes cake. A lot. Finally, if I may venture a little advice to Mr Grey: tuck your shirt in, young man. This is the internet – we have standards.”