Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10
There can be very few experiences that can top listening to a story-teller in full flow, save for the spectacle of nature working with wondrous intent, very few moments capture the imagination as well as someone who has lived, who has truly nothing to fear from boredom, because that single entity has no room to exist in a world where everything that can be felt is there beyond the front door.
Heath Common is a man of absolute purpose, his previous albums have all been on a scale that has been heavy with reason, with objective stories and self drive. Now in the splendid and somewhat spiritually uplifting tales that bound themselves in the Tales Of A Young Life In Halifax + Notting Hill Gate, this poet, a well suited and pristine hippy heart that lives in the company of all those he has observed and felt a kinship with,. Aided by the superb Steve Karavasili, Steve Jones, Neil Morgan and Patrick Wise, takes the listener once more down the roads well travelled and urges them to pull up a comfortable chair and watch the flickering flames of a well poked fire, perhaps imbibe themselves with a glass of fortifying liquid and revel for a short while in the tales of a young man through the eyes of a poetic explorer.
Heath Common dedicates the album to The Wild Child and well he might for it is that child in us all that makes the journey from cradle to grave so enlightening, nothing is worse in life than coming across someone who has not lived, who has not experienced or even seen anything beyond their narrow and blinkered vision, a tourist who stays in their hotel and listens to the only channel to be found talking in their own language.
The wild child is there to remind us that stories are valuable; they are a commodity to be traded at a better price than any amount of gold or coin and Heath Common is a trader who lives to sell the stories, the chronicles of his life in such a way that music is added joy to the lyrics that fund this expedition between Yorkshire and the leafy suburbs of London.
Tales Of A Young Life In Halifax + Notting Hill Gate is a glorious album of droll colour, of humour that is boundless and visions that are without limits, a sense of a life so well lived the man can leave you feeling exhausted and exhilarated in all in the same wonderful breath.
In tracks such as Jack Brown, Spirit of Ogden, the brilliant Room at the Top, Still Howling, Anita Pallenberg and Satori In The Sky, Heath Common is at his sartorial lyrical best and the grounding of his music lives long into the night, as the embers turn to dust and the bottle of whisky turns into vapour, Heath Common’s words still frame a life many of us would dearly love to have had.
Tales Of A Young Life In Halifax + Notting Hill Gate is a remarkable album, a set of songs so well crafted they belong in an art house.
Ian D. Hall