Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10
The world depends on anarchy to be able to dream of what it would be like to stir the pot of revolution; it might only be the casual caress with the notion of finding the pleasure that is due us all as we play with the fire of change, however it is a change that is more than welcome, more than comfortable in our psyche if it sees rebellion against the cause of insufferable sameness; for nobody truly wants to see the world become a turgid mess of monotony, nobody should see art become dull and uniform.
To Follow Them True, to let your inner instinct see the lead created by the sense of the new, of something off beat and thrilling, that is the example to which mavericks are created and seen as heroes.
Whether in turning the detective novel on its head and initiating the start of the noir genre, of taking pop music and spitting down its eye in disgust for its upbeat, unrecognisable state of the nation agreement and designing the punk ethic or even in just hearing a child utter the word no for the first time and registering the shock in the parent’s eyes as they reel from the rebellion and self expression; to Follow Them True is the greatest of pleasures, for it stirs the earthquake that threatens to wake the soul.
Stick In The Wheel’s Follow Them True is the call to march against the sameness we often allow into our lives if it means we are not challenged, if we refuse to see our lives as progression and the construct of self indulgence of routine; it is an album which has the earthquake of folk at its heart, the radical and the passionate fling. Just for a while the seemingly comfortable is lead out to graze in a different pasture, it hears the wolves at the edge of the wood and hears its howls of life, and in retaliation it arms itself with the stick, and dares the wolf to come closer.
In tracks such as Witch Bottle, White Copper Alley, Unquiet Grave, Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green, the sensational Poor Old Horse and As I Roved Out, the earthquake can be felt as seismic, of being the rage of change but without ever once departing or straying too far from the pasture that Folk has provided.
A sublime and creatively endearing piece of art, Stick In The Wheel have made sure that the cycle of the folk genre has continued.
Stick In The Wheel come to Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall’s Music Rooms on Sunday March 4th.
Ian D. Hall