David Stevenson avoids the usual singer-songwriter pitfall of self-indulgence by writing songs mainly about other people. Unfinished Lace brings to life a fallen World War One soldier via a second-hand poetry book containing a scrap of his bride's wedding blouse, while The Last Of England speaks in the voice of a Pilgrim Father heading for America. His more personal songs steer well clear of cliché, Parting Is The Hardest Thing being the most affecting.
With a band but lacking lead guitar, Paul Goodwin's sound falls somewhere between his solo and full-band incarnations. Bass and drums add momentum and colour to his acutely-observed lyrics, which come through with a clarity and impact that might not have been the case with a full band sound.
His solo opener Phosphorus Burns shows real development in his songwriting while warhorses like Edinburgh and Watertight are as powerful as ever. He even gets slightly funky on Why I Love You. When will wider recognition come?
Writer: Tom Conway