Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10
There will always come a time when the forces of will that conspire against every human to deal with their innermost anguish and regret will compel them to be seen to be Picking Up The Pieces, to put together the jigsaw of life that breaks apart, that can harm, can damage but ultimately can be, with hope, a new beginning, a new chapter in which to thrive.
Cornwall’s exciting and dynamic The Changing Room have created so much in the last couple of years, they have strived with the force of a rip tide that pounds against the cliffs that divide the U.K. in its South Western corner, that surges majestically and serenely up the Tamar, to bring the language and aspirations of the Cornish people to the attention of the national psyche. It is a measure of their endeavour that have been taken to a lot of hearts outside of the Cornish land of myths, mists and Daphne du Maurier and one that Picking Up The Pieces exerts true mastery over the silence of the Moors and the rip tide perfectly.
Sam Kelly’s and Tanya Brittain’s second album under The Changing Room’s banner is one of drama, of the idea of a land ready, like its Celtic cousins of Wales and Scotland, to strive beyond the self imposed limits of Westminster and see it emerge out of that constant dream like state in which people associate the county wit, the world of wreckers and second holiday homes for the scandalously rich and into a world of true opportunity and its art taken very seriously.
Heritage is everything, if you do not respect where you come from then you cannot feel the damage done against you, when the traditional aspects of the country, the town or your home are undermined, what is there left to fight for; it is this heritage, this dramatic scenery that drives the album and shakes the apathy out of its pit.
In tracks such as Caradon Hill, Gwrello Glaw, the superb The Cinder Track and Delyow Sevi, The Changing Room take the thought of heritage and make it a possibility, make it tangible and forthright, a fantastic piece of memory and of future possibility. Picking Up The Pieces is the tale of what could be, as well as what is past, a generous and abiding album that strikes at the heart of fierce independence.
Ian D. Hall