“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 a lyricist (polemicist?) and playwright at the heart of a new music co-op born out of theatre group Finn Youth Productions (who’ve written and produced plays at The Royal Exchange Manchester and in London’s West End) and named after a poem by Wyndham Lewis, founder of Vorticism, an art and poetry movement circa World War One.

One-Way Song fittingly had a debut live outing at the Imperial War Museum’s Wyndham Lewis exhibition and their raison d’etre is to try and “reimagine what the Vorticists would sound like if they wrote rock music in the 21st century”, which is as compelling as mission statements come.

With a debut EP “Passionate Leave” out on Hilltown, this is quite unlike anything else out there – perhaps closest to the Eccentronic Research Council and Maxine Peake collabo. with a Von Südenfed twist. It features vocals from Angus Macalister, Danielle Roseler and Jay Stansfield (John Peel session vet with tRANSELEMENt), music and production by old VS mucker Keiron Melling (The Fall, Imperial Wax) and his Hilltown Studios mate Mat Arnold (whose previous work includes Tom Jones and Kanye West) and it’s all tied together by the words of this man – welcome to VS – Luke Gilfedder!

Propelled by Melling’s industrial and metronomic powerhouse drumming, with electro like Dave Bush-era Infotainment Fall, Marr like plaintive guitar licks and poetry like Karl Hyde meets Ivor Cutler, plus a song title in “Dr. Spraza Lies” that reminds me of lyrics “Doctor Annabell lies!” in “An Older Lover” on “Slates”, what’s not to love. And with themes like brutalism, the Mafia or Nostradamus, it’s a beguiling mix, an eddying current of electro punk poetry.

With no idea what to expect as a song choice from such an eclectic starting block, I was totally blindsided and wrong footed, and that’s why 1WS is great art. So without further ado, it’s over to Luke for his “song for ewe”…

“A Thousand Lifetimes – Glen Campbell

“The other day marked the 50th anniversary of  “Wichita Lineman” which got me listening again to this Glen Campbell song “A Thousand Lifetimes” from one of his last albums. It harks back to “Wichita Lineman” musically, so you think it’s going to be very nostalgic, but then it turns quite defiant, like it’s almost challenging you to measure yourself up against it – which is what makes it a great track.

I always link this with Jack London’s “Martin Eden”, we did a play version as a theatre group and chose this as the opening song because it fits London’s life story so well.

We were doing the play in our base at an arcane 18th century theatre in Wilmslow, on the Boddington’s estate, a very dark upper-middle class English night – something that you’d think would clash with the big-sky freedom of a Glen Campbell track – but thanks to that defiance in this song, it worked perfectly”.

Many thanks to Luke Gilfedder & Keiron Melling.

“Passionate Leave” is available now, check out One-Way Song’s website.

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