Album: Mike Hart, Mike Hart Bleeds (Dandelion/Cherry Red)
Friday 28 November 2008
In the late Sixties, Mike Hart was a member of The Liverpool Scene, the poetry and music collective that had guitarist Andy Roberts and poet Adrian Henri as members.
Though seemingly the best-equipped for solo success, with songs marrying emotional themes to singalong hooks, Hart's unreliability and fondness for alcohol ultimately torpedoed his chances – but not before he recorded a couple of albums, the best being this solo debut for John Peel's Dandelion label in 1969. The gallows humour of the title is typical of the self-mocking, Lennon-esque tone of bruised sincerity underpinning most of his songs, which are ripped from the pages of his personal life: in the heartbreaking "Arty's Wife" he reflects, perplexed, on the cooling of his ardour for his spouse (the woman whose defaced visage accompanies Hart's on the cover).
"Yawny Morning Song" and "Disbelief Blues" ape Dylan's electric style, and references to Harold Wilson, Ian Smith and the Aberfan disaster date some tracks, but the mood of abandonment and distraction remains powerfully affecting. With highlights such as "Arty's Wife" and "Almost Liverpool 8" augmented by Scene highlights like the single "Son, Son" and the bittersweet odes "Palms" and "Gliders and Parks", this is a welcome reminder of a significant pop talent.
Download this: 'Arty's Wife', 'Almost Liverpool 8', 'Gliders and Parks', 'Son, Son', 'Palms'
musicReview: Culture Club performs live for first time in 12 years
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 David Beckham's Haig Club whisky is exactly what’s wrong with the Highlands
- 4 Queen's first tweet: Reply telling Her Majesty to 'f*** off' broadcast on BBC News
- 5 #AskNigelFarage: Twitter starts hilarious Q&A for Ukip leader
This is what a film sex scene actually looks like on set (mostly awkward)
Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
Pottermore: JK Rowling writes new Harry Potter story featuring 'greying' 33-year-old wizard
JK Rowling to publish new Harry Potter story online for Halloween
Fury, film review: Brad Pitt stars in visceral and brutally ugly drama that reminds us war is hell
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Tony Blair 'says Ed Miliband will lose 2015 general election'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Putin: The US is to blame for almost all the world's major conflicts