You can call former Auteurs frontman Luke Haines whatever you like – and many do – but “predictable” just won’t stick. Following his razor-sharp yet affectionate look at 70s British wrestling comes this: a folk comedy centred around a badger named Nick Lowe, a fox named Jimmy Persey and a cat named Gene Vincent. Read that back if you like, it won’t make any more sense.
The trio wage a war on public art, with the main focus of their bile directed at Anthony Gormley’s Angel Of The North. Along the way (and it definitely feels like a journey) TV’s Julia Davis narrates, the most righteous periods of Black Sabbath and Soft Machine’s histories are debated, and many woodwind instruments are softly played. If that sounds a lot to take in, it isn’t really, but it doesn’t make any more sense than that, no matter how much you like it.
While appealing to the masses has never been a major concern for Haines, a loosely child-friendly album might well be a definite way in for newcomers to our creepy, breathy anti-hero. It’s successful, on the whole, and fans of this ever-refreshing Britpop behemoth will find plenty to cheer.