483. The Lucksmiths – “The Green Bicycle Case”

In between their debut and this second album, The Lucksmiths released a fantastic EP titled Boondoggle.

It saw their sound leap into some crystal clear poppy wonderland. That lesson wasn’t forgotten here, but added to the mix was a big dose of history.

The trio get all olde skool with a Thomas Hardy-inspired tale of public hangings (with a nifty waltz backing, and recorder solo no less!), some Hiroshima action, more aviator action, a Roald Dahl paean (William and Mary) and the thorny old Tichbourne Claimant.

Alongside these history/lit lessons are some cinematic (and crime) allusions in the noir Detective Agency and the jaunty Jewel Thieves (where the band harmonise as only they can’t):

While these are all entertaining diversions well executed, it is the modern-day, snapshot of life tunes which are the most endearing and enduring.

I am constantly drawn to the preciousness of Two Storeys, the poignancy of the defiant mother-to-be in From Here to Maternity, the optimism of Motorscooter and the intimacy of Mezzanine.

As you can see this is an album I know back to front, and it’s never worn out its welcome with all these contrasts and intrigues.

File under: A solution to life’s many mysteries

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