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