It was a lovely surprise to get a Facebook message from Pete Jackson asking for my address to send an album to. I’ve still not quite gotten used to that! I first saw him perform at a Dogfest I think ages ago, the last time was at Bostin’ Days. Mostly I’ve seen him with his acoustic guitar belting out Levellers songs – which I certainly have no objection to, but it’s exciting to get to hear someone’s own creations.
Upon picking up Two Birds I had a peruse of the track listing and credits – there’s a full band on here, Pete does the vocals, guitars and mandolin – but he’s backed up by Jamie Lynch on bass, Stuart Robson on drums, Lynn Holt on flute and whistle and James Bennett on keyboards. The prospect of a full band sound is exciting – his collaboration with Lynn on the Bostin’ Days CD for The Road is one of the highlights on a universally strong collection of Levellers covers.
Distortion and a pitch-change kicks off Come What May – dispassionate lyrics over acoustic guitar talk of drudgery and impatience, before the chorus introduces energetic electric guitar riffs and empassioned vocals – and there’s a killer guitar solo thrown into the mix too. Everywhere starts gently speaking of the horrors of what might be in store once the alarm clock rings, there’s clever pace changes as the full band kicks in – harmonised vocals, and anxiety-drenched lyrics.