“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today’s guest is guitarist with Essex outlier indie heroes The Wolfhounds, and sonic architect of ornate rackets with his own solo project (in which he writes the theme toon, plays the theme toon) Dragon Welding, which is neatly an anagram of his own name. Andy Golding (see!) has taken the mudlarking flats of the Estuary and reimagined them as the dusty outcrops of Mars with a second album called “Lights Behind The Eyes” coming out soon on Dimple Discs (who also released the recent and brilliant return of Cathal Coughlan).

While as a Man of Kent myself, not far from the Dartford visited in the Wolfhounds classic “In Transit”, as a fellow Estuary dweller I normally think of slack-jawed barely pronounced vowels like Rainbow’s Zippy. It couldn’t be more different for Andy whose guitar playing is zip-line taut. And rather than Favorite Fried chicken on a definitely now deserted high-street its Richard Thompson-esque finger picking goodness enough to fry your cerebrum, making the Indian summer that the Wolfhounds and the projects of its members even hotter. It’s an absolute Greater London to Outer Space pleasure to welcome to these VS pages, Andy Golding!

Expansively cinematic like Mogwai, crazy diamond-esque like Floyd (particularly on second track “Liquid”) there’s also a pastoral solitude reminiscent of Portland/Thrill Jockey’s Marisa Anderson (“Own Goal”) and in electronic assisted epic “Scorched Sera” subcutaneous alien tendrils ready to violently erupt through the desert to reminisce shlock-horror movie Tremors. And with a title like “Lights Behind The Eyes” this is no emotionless shark, but a soulful sojourn into sonic solitude. And other equally effective alliteration. As opposed to Andy Golding’s first venture as the sparky Dragon Welding, this one eschews vocals for pure vibes.

There’s a definite calculation behind this as well as a musical literacy, it can make you feel cleverer just listening to it. Especially with song-titles like “BoDMAS” which remind me of the Lockdown Learning that I’ve only recently sidestepped from after nearly a year

When I was a kid living not far from the River in Gravesend there was perhaps an apocryphal story about a fellow young’un who upon catching the Ferry to Tilbury was convinced by their Dad they’d visited Australia and couldn’t be shaken of the assumption for many years (not me I promise!) and yet here we are with “Lights Behind The Eyes”, it might be a short hop even from where I reside now to Golding’s Essex, but it might as well be a “Heart of Darkness”-esque boat trip to the horrors of Kurtz’ mind in lurid technicolor cinemascope, such is the otherworldliness of this audiophile adventure.

And it transpires Andy’s got a nostalgic tale of the unexpected at the heart of his song choice. Without further ado, it’s over to Andy Golding for his “song for ewe”…

“When were 6 or 7 years old, we used to pull battered old singles at random out of my mum and dad’s record collection and have arguments about which ones were Rock’n’Roll.

We had no idea what that actually meant, but we had our own reasoning; it had to be fast, it had to have guitars, and it had to make us want to dance. The words were not so important, but having the word ‘Rock’ in the title helped.

This one name-checked ‘Johnny B. Goode’ so it had to be Rock’n’Roll, right? With hindsight, this is a throwaway novelty cash-in record. The badly overdubbed double speed sax and alien voices are way too loud and both go helplessly out of time. To me, it sounded then as it does now; magically insane music from Outer Space. I’m still not sure if it’s Rock’n’Roll though.”

THANKS ANDY AND ALSO TO SEAN NEWSHAM AT MUTANTE

“Lights Behind The Eyes” is out on Dimple Discs on 7 May 2021, but you can and should pre-order it on the Bandcamp link below…

And because well why not, here’s an old Lucky 7 from The Wolfhounds…

THE WOLFHOUNDS – LUCKY 7