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Wednesday 04 January 2017

Resolved: Brighton's Nick Burbridge & Tim Cotterell Serve Up A Cerebral Collection Of Musical Coherence

Nick Burbridge and Tim Cotterell's last project – Gathered – received inspired reviews, and gained Nick the 2013 Spiral Earth Best Songwriter Award. It also found its way onto the AQA A Level Communication and Culture syllabus, the frontispiece of a book on Barthes, and formed the basis of an academic lecture at the University of Edinburgh!

But Gathered was not a cerebral album. Burbridge's songs are set on the dark streets of the heart, whatever his philosophical intent, staking common ground where traditional and contemporary sounds merge effortlessly. 

When a songwriter of such lyrical and melodic strength combines forces with a multi-instrumentalist and producer of real calibre like Cotterell, moment and attack are bound to prove irresistible. 

On Resolved this mutual craft reaches full potential – ten songs interspersed with sung tanka – where themes constantly engage and, as it unfolds, the sheer commitment involved speaks for itself. 

By the end of the recording, the listener feels as if they have been guided on a journey confronting all kinds of major personal and political challenges, whose true significance they only realise when it concludes. 


Musically, varying from Dylan-type narratives, through ornamental ballads reminiscent of Dick Gaughan or Planxty, to a unique form Burbridge and Cotterell have made their own, where weathered and assertive voice and guitar weave in and out of subtly textured sound, the album achieves a coherence few others match.

It isn't a swashbuckling live McDermott's Two Hours record – the band which Burbridge formed and Cotterell joined – described by The Levellers, among others, as their main influence, which led them to collaborate many times in the studio and on stage, and cover McDermotts" songs "Dirty Davey" and "Prisoner". 

It's an album that decisively substantiates Burbridge's credentials as a playwright, novelist, and, above all, poet, whose work has also been recorded by performers as diverse as the late Maggie Boyle and Ferocious Dog - and the breadth and sensitivity of Cotterell's instrumental playing, employed by many from Oysterband's John Jones to Martha Tilston. 

Material considerations are few – the main concern is that these songs are heard and shared. 

For all those fRoots once described as "Burbridge's footsoldiers", who have followed him through various projects from the late eighties, to others who might be familiar only for his recent work with "rising star" Cotterell, Resolved will prove what it purports to be: a fitting resolution. To those unacquainted, welcome. You will not be disappointed.

As a thank you to loyal supporters and friends, a limited number of signed pre-release copies of the CD are available now, before the formal release date which is at the end of January. These can be obtained direct by contacting nick@burbridgearts.org or using Facebook messages..

Nick Burbridge and Tim Cotterell's 'Resolved' release date – 31.01.17 - Available from OTF recordings, www.levellers.co.uk  - www.burbridgearts.org - and all usual online sources

by: Mike Cobley




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Kate Tempest by Eddie Otchere

At a political and social moment that feels particularly precarious, Kate Tempest's Brighton Festival programme (6-28 May 2017) celebrates what she calls the Everyday Epic. 

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mage (c) Morgan Sinclair

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“1895: London Society takes its problems to Sherlock Holmes.  Everyone else goes to Arrowood.”  That's the intriguing concept of the debut novel Arrowood, written by Brighton-based Anglia Ruskin University academic Dr Mick Finlay.

He's well-known for playing characters on TV that are bang up-to-date – Jonatton Yeah? (yes, that is the right spelling!) in the cult Channel 4 sitcom, Nathan Barley; the ‘is he gay? Is he straight?’  Marcus Dent in ITV's Coronation Street and, most recently, one half of a same sex parenting partnership in the brilliant ITV crime drama, Unforgotten. 

She's the girl with the big smile, the fresh-faced Nonnatus House nun who couldn'tconceal her true feelings if she tried. 

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