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Lone Pigeon | Concubine Rice (Domino)
The Lone Pigeon is one Mr Gordon Anderson. His habitat is Fife, Scotand. And most of what has been written about him has usually contained some reference to the Beta Band; of which he was a founding member. There are tales of a reclusive visionary, beavering away recording song after song on antiquated equipment, only to discover a dissatisfaction with the final product, and therefore more recording. Whether this mythical madness is just good PR copy or the truth is irrelevant; in Concubine Rice, Lone Pigeon gives us a uncompromising look inside his musical mind. His overall style lends himself more to 'The Three Eps' era of the Beta Band, rather than 'Hotshots II'. There are constant reminders of his heritage, whether it be vocal harmonies, lilting rhythms or mantra like songs. Sandwiched between each track are little comic interludes and fragments of music that reminded me of the animated tomfoolery that Monty Python incorporated in their shows between sketches. These event grade outbursts are reflected in the lyrics of some of the tracks. His nonsense lyrics paint vivid surreal tapestries of mayhem similar to Lennon's poems in A Spaniard In The Works. Which is funny because some of the music sounded Sir Pauleque in their showtime, sitting around the piano style. A beautifully raw Scottish accent rears its head in one of the tracks, sparking images of watching drunken Arab Strap perform. And some of his retro rhythms are a fantastic advert for the quintessential eighties Casio keyboard, and they also sound top notch. The production and recording techniques are certainly of the rough and ready variety which is admirable but don't add anything to the album. In some cases the quality detracts from the songs. Lone Pigeon could be viewed as self indulgent avant garde with rambling melodies and songs that only matter to the songwriter; an aloof Scotsman who puts his feelings into songs. But I do admire the fact that everything he does is homegrown and he releases material under his own terms. The fact that he has a release through Domino in the States is an achievement in itself. It may never be mainstream but Mr. Anderson has a clear vision for his creations. A unique vision that in 'Concubine Rice' we have the privilege of hearing.

Magnus Thompson
November 2002