doomed bird of providence Will Ever Pray (CD, £12.50)label: Front and Follow
Recounting stories from the dusty, obscure corners of colonial times, The Doomed Bird of Providence set off on an exploration of early Australian history, darkly probing its more abject and harrowing aspects. The resulting music is brooding, dramatic and heavily indebted to Ennio Morricone, Jacques Brel, Scott Walker and the English Folk Revival. Buttressed by accordion, ukulele, bass, guitar and violin, singer Mark Kluzek rants and laments the death and degeneracy of settlers and convicts alike in this hostile, unrelenting environment. Kluzek started writing lyrics inspired by reading books such as The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes and the band was formed in 2008 to provide a musical setting. In addition to Hughes' 'warts and all' account, Kluzek imbibed the history of early convict and whaling centres such as Norfolk Island. The music that emerged deliberately avoided the notion of 'authentic' Australian music, rather aiming to encompass elements of music that Kluzek thought would better suit the dramatic potential of the stories. Gradually other musicians became interested in being involved live and in recordings. Ukulele player Drew Barker (SOUP, Croft) and bass player Stafford Glover (Extreme Noise Terror) performed with Kluzek at the first Doomed Bird show at the Colchester Arts Centre supporting Simon Finn. Since that time the band has grown into a five piece including Daniel Merrill (Dead Rat Orchestra) on violin and Richard Acton (formerly of Limn) on guitar.
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