Feather House is the musical home of Hertfordshire Singer-Songwriter Pete Guy and has added to his growing catalogue of work with a new five track EP. The opening track is also the title track. Eight Feet could refer to many things but in this case it's a song about four people - so eight feet - visiting Berlin. As so often happens the simplest ideas are the best.
Centre Stage follows and is an almost mythical theme of the struggle between the wind and the sun for primacy. Both are powerful, both can affect us but in the song the man just pulls his jacket tighter about himself against the wind and waits for the bluster to pass before enjoying the gentle warmth of the sun.
If these two songs have a commonality to them it's of opposing forces competing for the hearts and minds of the people, but only one side is going to win and it tends to be the one that uses less force and swagger. There are lessons in them both for the world that has passed and is still present.
In the middle of the EP is an instrumental piece called cHiLdHoOd 82 and on first listening I did ask myself what it was doing there, but on further exploration it both separates and introduces the final two tracks.
Shivering 101 is about somebody looking for the security of warmth and comfort whilst Tired Eyes could easily be written for a child who is being encouraged to sleep after the excitement of the day. Pete is involved with Compass Children's Charity, a UK NGO dedicated to the rehabilitation and defence of street children and victims of trafficking in Latin America and so it is very easy to imagine that these songs are inspired by the things he has heard and seen. The things we take for granted are denied to so many.
Although there are allegories and images within the EP I should say it doesn't come across as a political album beyond the basic rights of people to have a decent life with security and freedom. Pete's voice certainly doesn't suggest the strident politico either, as he has a very gentle tone about him that encourages people to listen.
The music is a good mix, too. Although I'd class this as folk there are influences of rock and prog within it that gives a unique and compelling sound. When reviewing Pete's previous EP "MoNsTeRs In YoUr HeAd" I said that it made me want to hear more of his work and "Eight Feet" has confirmed that I made the right call.
The EP was released as a download on 12th January and will be available through bandcamp https://peteguy.bandcamp.com/. There will also be a physical CD which contains a bonus track of Sunken Ship, a song which has had Radio 6 play and good things said about by Tom Robinson. This track has a much mellower feeling to it, with mandolin and fiddle taking the lead and is a story about time and how our memories can be lost as we age, just like a sunken ship, unless they are shared. It's a rather moving plea to listen to the elderly rather than forget about them.
|Korby Lenker: Thousand Springs||David Newey: Unfold|
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