Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * * *
Laud the man who knows the value of the phrase, steady…aim…aim…aim, never one who is bound by the rashness of getting the job done, who rushes to miss the point of witness the slow move which captivates and inspires. Steady Your Aim, look down the lens for as long as possible, take mental notes of the sight before you, breathe normally and get ready for the kick back which tears at the muscles of your shoulder, relish your soul and be thankful for the Country in which allows you the freedom to take an unhurried snapshot with a camera in which to feel the memories of the scene before you.
Steady…aim…aim…aim, for in that progression of pictures taken, what the listener is left with is the result of patience and intrigue, the knowledge that the art is given with scars, the exchange of battle and the survival of being knocked down, of having been seen through the eyes of a lens, scrutinised and argued with; you might need a telescope to see the Universe but you require a microscope held in the hands of an artist to see the introspection and the spiritual place we share.
Andrew Sheppard’s Steady Your Aim, is an album that has all the hallmarks of being built up over time, of every moment seen, every waking passing second scrutinised and played over again inside the mind of the writer. This is replaying of events and seeing how they came to be, not content with just uttering a thanks to the past for bringing the present into view, what Mr. Sheppard does is acknowledge previous encounters, the long road filled with deviations and u-turns, and makes them stand out in a rich, vibrant performance of songs that quite simply blow the socks off the listener.
In songs such as Red Wine & White Roses, Here At The Bottom, Travel Light and Carry On, the honesty held within us all as Life As Cheap As Whiskey and Holy Water, Andrew Sheppard and the band only release the shutter on the camera when the time is good and ready, the snapshot taken, the marriage of time and patience made perfect and one that is reflected with sheer pleasure as Steady Your Aim plays through.
Always be the one to have patience, to say that phrase, steady…aim…aim…aim, for in that time between the breath and the click of the button that controls the shutter, is the place where beauty truly lays.
Andrew Sheppard releases Steady Your Aim on March 23rd 2018.
Ian D. Hall