What provides the inspiration for a song? A love lost? A love gained? Something that happened in the writers life perhaps? A world event? Many songs have been written about such things, but not so many are inspired by a story that would struggle to make the inside pages of a news paper. James Herring of SPEAK, BROTHER a four year old indie/folk band, heard a story on the radio than moved him to write their latest single. It is a moving and yet extraordinary true account, of a miscreant who was up before a judge.
This offender was in a category for which many would exhibit little sympathy, she was a drug addict. However the Judge decided that her addiction was the source of her problems and deemed that community service and rehab to be better than jail. She later re-offended for the same thing. The original judge followed the second trial only to hear that she was sent to jail this time. He appealed on her behalf and fought for her and eventually became her mentor. She is currently free from addiction and living a wholesome life.
There is a similarity between this story and the very name of the band, SPEAK BROTHER. The essence of this story is that this woman had an eminent person speak up for her and thus she thrived. She was in a dark place with seemingly no-one to turn to for help, until the judge stepped up. the words of the chorus describe his action.
When the jury saw this warrior in broken armour,
He found a frightened daughter.
Now rest, O darling rest, you're not alone now,
He'll fight the wolves for you.
So this is all very worthy, but is the song any good? A throbbing beat announces the commencement of the story. It is up beat from the start even though it starts at a point of where the subject is at her lowest ebb and friendless. The song moves along at brisk pace with a soaring vocal over the chorus behind it then a very effective adagissimo section bring the impact of the story to the fore. Then we hear the drums announcing the arrival over the hill of the warrior to the rescue of the woman in trouble, the crescendo being the success he achieves. I found that the song invited playing over and over again, which in turn meant that I was enjoying it more and more. I find their mix of passion and emotive storylines quite irresistable.
SPEAK BROTHER's previous record in my collection is an anthem in support of the England Rugby XV for the Rugby World Cup in 2015 which was infinitely better than the official song. One wonders whether the team would have put on a better performance than they ultimately did if they had adopted "Lions Roar" as they inspirational song.
The great news is that an album is in pre-production right now hopefully to be released in the autumn. In the meanwhile, this single is now on general release. Go get it!
|The Rude Mechanicals Band: Exit, Pursued By A Bear||Rev Hammer: Skald|
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