It’s probably innate laziness on my part, but I’m drawn to bands with a radically curtailed output, outfits with one – possibly two – records in them, who then vanish into the ether like cigarette smoke. Woodbine, appropriately, are / were such a band: a spare, other-worldly debut, with a sprightlier (but not by much) follow-up appearing a mere four years later, their work rate is / was as somnambulistic as their music. ‘Wake Up Sleeping’ crystallises all that makes / made them great: a woozy melody that’s simultaneously futurist and ancient, a medieval madrigal played through a battered transistor radio on Mars, the clean, unearthly delicacy of a folk standard underpinned by anxiety and threat (enacted by those glitchy electronic squalls, a sitcom laugh-track, and what sounds like a chorus of outraged ducks). Winter music, naturally: inky trees; the pond fogged with ice; a brisk, delinquent dazzle of sun. Hear it?
Simon Turner‘s first collection, You Are Here, was published in 2007; his second, Difficult Second Album, appeared in 2010. He is currently working towards a third collection, tentatively entitled How’s My Driving? His work has appeared in various publications in print and online, including Tears in the Fence, the Wolf, Poetry Salzburg and Dusie. With George Ttoouli, he edits the poetry blogzine Gists and Piths. He lives and works in the English Midlands, which is nowhere near as idyllic as that sounds.
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Contact Jackie Clark: jackie [at] coldfrontmag [dot] com.
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