I always loved "Manic, Magic, Majestic (1989) and it should have made Band Of Holy Joy huge stars (in a small way) but it wasn't to be as Rough Trade collapsed taking a sea of talent with them.
Who would have picked BOHJ to be still bobbing about on the musical ocean (in this case The Channel) all these years later? Not me. If it is indie music of an eccentrically British persuasion that you like then I recommend this album and as I don't generally go for that sort of thing I can do so even more heartily!
For BOHJ are much more than that and much better and dare I say it, more interesting, than the likes of Belle & Sebastian. If you delve into their oeuvre you'll see what I mean. Perhaps Rob Young put it best when he described their music as "a bohemian mix of inner city guignol, Brechtian street song and soaring romanticism". What it is to be human then.
"A Revivalist Impulse (edited)" is warm lobster bisque to Happy Mondays' cold lumpy gravy and an unashamed nostalgia fest, "bring back those days!". As on so much of the album the guitar is the perfect foil to the mildly operatic vocals. "To Leave Or Remain" might be a fond farewell to a now lost Europe but if it is, it comes via a chat at the ballot box.
What can you say about a song like "A Lonesome Dove", other than if Morrissey had a sense of humour he would write this song instead of taking laxatives and sitting on the khazi.
"The Song Of Casual Indifference" might be another reason to call this something of a post-Brexit album (really? - Ed). "The Song Of Passionate Intensity" is about the worst band in the world, surely not BOHJ!? "A Beautiful Cat" and the titular track are just lovely songs about special human beings but they might just be a whole lot more than that. Nothing is ever what it seems with the Band Of Holy Joy.