Spring is coming. It could even be here. I’m sat on a train heading to Hitchin to watch a football game. The sky outside is a beautiful blue and I’m feeling fuzzy.
Clearly, the music that I’m listening to on my headphones is helping that glow. Earlier this week I was sent a link to the wonderful new video from Sonny and the sunsets. Happy carrot health food store is exactly the sort of thing that Sonic Breakfast was established for; quirky, creative and laced with delicious madness.
Remember when I wrote letters from Pete to Joanne? Gig reviews, festival reviews – it was all a construct. Some people loved it; others thought that the style was self-indulgent and forced. Those others can stick to liking Coldplay. I loved creating those characters, dropping little clues across different pieces of writing about what had gone before in the lives of Pete and Joanne. You suspect that Sonny Smith comes from a similar, albeit much more elaborate, place. Happy Carrot Health Food Store pays attention to the lives and loves of the disaffected misfits who work within. It’s glorious storytelling. And then it gets really weird..
On the back of this I listened (and listened again) to the recently released album, Talent Night At The Ashram. It feels like there’s a concept here. We’re treated to more fragments from the lives of Sonny’s characters. It’s an ambitious album that drips with twee psychedelia; it’s so rich with content that writing a full review seems a daunting impossibility.
I remember first listening to the Kinks’ Village Green Preservation Society record on my Sony Walkman. I was in the back seat of my Dad’s BMW. That makes me sound posh and rich. I was neither. It was a vintage crimson orange car. ‘Talent Night At The Ashram’ takes me back to that moment. The happiness is innocent; the joy is pure and unblemished.
I dug further into the man that is Sonny Smith. I like what I found. A few years ago now, Sonny created an art exhibition. For ‘100 Records’, Sonny invited 100 artists to produce artwork for the record covers of fictional bands. He then concocted the personas of all 100 fictitious bands and wrote songs for each of the bands. That is artistic endeavour in my book.
I’m still on the train. The sky is no longer blue. I’m feeling a different kind of fuzzy.