“Hidden Shoal recordings from Perth, Australia are exactly what they say on the tin. Namely an ‘out of sight’ treasure trove of diverse, eclectic music. They’ve released products from the likes of Hotels, Arc Lab, Slow Dancing Society and My Majestic Star. I have enjoyed working with them for years and long may it continue as far as I am concerned.
In Summon The Birds, the Perth imprint has a fine exponent of Brit-infused prog rock. ‘London Tap Water’ is the forerunner to the bands second album Blood Love and Radiohead are a clear marker here. One can easily imagine ‘London Tap Water’ adjacent to something like ‘Exit Music (for a film)’ from the Oxford bands landmark OK Computer phase. Yet Summon The Birds are not mere wannabes. They create their own rich universe with narrative character and personality in abundance. Front man Jonathan Shaw (see solo album) is at the heart of this with his Anthony Newley inflections (for those of you not of the same vintage, Newley is how we used to describe early Bowie) Any given Summon The Birds song becomes more tale than track. Shaw intones his eccentric fables while the band provides the ‘fireside’.
As ‘London Tap Water’ climaxes into peals of Gilmour -esque guitars we are also reminded of the great Pink Floyd. And though the Floyd had many notable singers they never, at least to my knowledge, had Damon Albarn and Brett Anderson combined, channeling John Lydon on a ballsy version of ‘Roll Out The Barrel’.
From the sunny side of the world to the Dark Side Of The Moon via…. the East End. It may only be tap water but its Lundon, innit!”