Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10
It takes an artist to paint a picture in which the local chippy is given prominence, a sense of the Lowry inhabiting a mind which grasps, understands and exemplifies the uniqueness of the human mind to make the ordinary explode with colour and reason and make what we see just astonishing, the passion of the painter’s eye capturing a detail that many would gloss over or not see at all.
To be inspired in such a way is in our D.N.A., some choose to wash it off like a speck of dirt, others embrace it, and when you have a canvas as magnificent as the city, within the childhood you had at your disposal, it is hard to do anything other than focus your eye on the details that make up city’s such as Liverpool, Edinburgh, Oxford, Birmingham or Glasgow.
It is quite rightly to Glasgow that Findlay Napier casts his eye over, a place where you can obviously eulogise over a girl in a chip shop and where the vignettes of the city stand out; Lowry created the scene with a brush, Mr. Napier does it with the guitar and the range of expressive words.
Both men paint the picture but implore you to look beyond the overall setting, both suggest to the watcher and the listener that there is a marvel in every crack, whether it is on the frame or in the pot holes of our youth, that in the steam of an innocent factory panorama or the ship yards that churned out the workers as they dreamed of a night on Sauchihall Street pavements, what you get is the detail; and it is glorious.
Accompanied by the erstwhile Boo Hewerdine and Donna Macioca, Findlay Napier takes the listener on a journey, expansive, beautiful, detailed and meticulous. Tracks such as Young Goths In The Necropolis, Cod Liver Oil And The Orange Juice, A Walk Across The Rooftops and the utterly beguiling The Blue Lagoon insist that this second album by the painter of words and musical spirit be taken absolutely seriously, with all the charm of the man thrown in for good measure.
An album of absolute memory, of picking a scene and expanding in all the detail of a great writer or in the scenes set by one of the greatest of painters; Glasgow is the place to be.
Ian D. Hall