Woodpigeon Heads For The Bush
posted on 14th March 2013
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WOODPIGEON, aka one Mark Andrew Hamilton, released his fifth album, Thumbtacks And Glue on February 25th and toured with Mark Eitzel to mark the event. Red Rover, Red Rover then came out as a digital single on March 4th with a suitably mellow show at St Pancras OId Church by way of celebration. Now, having sold out that particular soiree, our non-feathery friend will next be headlining London Shepherds Bush Hall on June 6th, and advance tickets are on sale at www.eatyourownears.com/events/woodpigeon-2 right now.

Since the appearance of 2010s Balladeer our bearded, slightly bear-like hero has moved home from Calgary, Alberta to Vienna, Austria (he was in search of ?ìa wildly romantic Bohemia¬ù). Expert lovers of gently bruised alt.folk.rock tumblings could well have first clocked Woodpigeon in 2006 with the ?ìwinningly understated¬ù (BBC) debut album Songbook. Then came lovingly crafted long players with titles like Treasure Library Canada, Die Stadt Muzikanten and the aforementioned Balladeer.

As well as swapping continents since the release of the latter Woodpigeon has toured with Patrick Wolf, Andrew Bird and Junip and quietly, studiously gone about his business with an elegance which befits his winningly understated nature. Not forgetting a drier-than-a-really-quite-dry-desert sense of humour which suits a man who calls the first track on his new album 'The Saddest Music In The World', who names another song after Sylvester The Cartoon Cat's catchphrase, and who used to perform under the name Woodpigeon Divided By Antelope Equals Squirrel. We kinda miss those days.

But not too much. Woodpigeon re-introduced himself to the British public with an appearance at the End Of The Road Christmas party at Cargo. Defiantly un-crushed by being parted from his guitar en route from Vienna by Lufthansa's finest baggage handlers, he proceeded to hush an excitable Yuletide crowd with little more than a furrowed vocal, a borrowed acoustic and some worried-sounding loops and delays.

If that live show captured the gently defiant, stripped down spirit of the solo troubadour then 'Thumbtacks And Glue' rolls out the fulsome red carpet, strings and all. Backed at various points by mellotron, violin, harpsichord, oboe and French horn, as well as the more traditional rock gear and heaps of backing ?ìsingings¬ù, here is Woodpigeon in his creative element: large of heart, subtle of melody and never afraid to fray a nerve or two, judging by the way the pluckily intelligent Robin Song sounds like a fraught Death Cab and the discordant squiggles of The Saddest Music In The World make like an irked Grandaddy. Elsewhere you may well be able to hear whispered snatches of Elliot Smith, of Simon & Garfunkel, of Badly Drawn Boy¬¶of men with their hearts in the right place, their hats on their heads and their art at the top of the agenda. Listen closer to the sound of solace here:

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