Singer songwriter Paul Tierney has become something of a feature on the Bristol music scene over recent years, since his move south from Glasgow. His new album Remuneration is his fourth under the “Lonely Tourist” heading, he also a key player in “Plume of Feathers” a project dedicated to recording the demise of the British pub through music and visuals.
Some weeks he plays gigs under both names, in fact I wouldn’t be surprised if did contrasting sets on the same day on occasions. To the average punter it can sometimes get a little confusing and its not uncommon for us to refer to an upcoming Lonely Feathers or Plume of Tourists gig, when hatching plans for a forthcoming night out. We always try to make it along if we can though, humour and pathos run side by side, as he rattles through his ever expanding songs that capture the small triumphs and indignities that make up life for most of us in 2018.
The word that often comes to mind when I think of Lonely Tourist, is troubadour. The songs tell us a story, one that it populated by believable characters, ordinary folk coping with mundane barriers that are thrown in their way.
Nothing is wasted here, the songs are sharp and to the point, nothing running longer than three and a half minutes. The thirteen tracks on the album all have something to say and normally it’s from the perspective of the maligned or the underdog. i My favourite track thus far is probably “Sometimes I can’t Even Say Hello” a poignant take on wishing you were someone else.
Paul has always written brilliantly about the travails of the humdrum job, and the new album throws up another such track, with the brilliantly titled “Smells Like Team Meeting” which rattles along at pace that team meetings never appear to manage. We also get the bitter anger of “Last Day At Tony’s”, capturing the final day of a soon to be ex-business.
As always though there is wry humour on display through songs like “Kicked Out The Band”, a song that I’m sure many musicians can relate to. “Stunt Double”could almost be a lost Jake Thackray classic, mind you it would would need to be slowed down considerably!
I also love the gentle instrumental “Reserved Occupation”, cant see that one been played live too often though.
It’s not just us that think that the Lonely Tourist / Plume of Feathers axis is producing some of the the most enjoyable, lyrical music of recent years. The work is often featured on the Gideon Coe and Steve Lamacq shows on BBC6 Music. The album is available now via the download channels, rumours abound of physical copies being available at gigs, including the upcoming launch show on 2nd March at The Salt Cafe. Try to pick up a copy of this and the other records that make up the Lonely Feathers catalogue.