Fun Of The Pier, 14:42. Album Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * * *

The Clock is ticking and soon it will strike 14:42. The fabled Summer of Love, if it truly taught us anything, and despite the presence, the brilliance of the music and some of the events that year, it was only to be seen as a symbolic gesture, a fabulous but soon disgruntled by the very people it tried so hard to fashionably free, to make them witness a different perspective.

The symbolism of 1967 has never escaped, it has been tied down and made to feel lauded and yet burdened by the responsibility it holds; the music was great, the events that followed it, the intensity of Vietnam, discord and war on the streets of many countries, a fight between right and wrong, of the power struggle between Government and those that wanted change; it is almost as if we have not ventured too far from that time. At least the music was great.

It is a time which many have tried to recapture, across the last fifty years bands and solo artists have done their level best to recapture the mood, some have been enormous, some have been heart-breaking wonderful and cool and yet from out of the Nottingham, from a town that many would not suggest has the same pull as New York, California, swinging London or the mythology of the beauty of Paris, comes Fun Of The Pier and their album 14:42.

It is not just an album, an aura of responsibility by Helen and Mark Luker and Richard Snow, along with several special guests, Karla Kane, Khoi Huynh and Anton Barbeau, it is a measure of time holding up a placard and announcing that even just once a band can find the vibe and yet sound so incredibly modern. The marriage of the two eras is perhaps one that many would never hope or dream that they would find and yet, almost invisibly, almost with perception by others, Fun Of The Pier have delivered one of the best albums of the year and in a different time they would have been as lauded as The Mama’s and The Papa’s in terms of song writing.

If The Summer of Love bears the scars of ownership of the time which didn’t live up to its final promise, then it is not visible, it has given birth and nurtured art that has offered hope and spirit; it is a spirit that is pure and beautiful in 14:42. In songs such as Inconsiderate, Lost and Lazy, Cavern Song, Looking For The Sun and I Love This Life (She Said), Fun Of The Pier illuminate the Power Pop/Folk hybrid they have set out to at least be part of.

It is magic, positive, full of depth and like many of the albums from that period, one of endeavour and mystery; 14:42 is arguably one of the simply sounding perfect albums.

Ian D. Hall