- The John Preston Tribute Band - Reduced To Clear
_
the creative edge of low-carbon culture
where punk meets climate change and en route kills the buddha on the road.

If this was the English Revolution, the band would surely be Ranters, raising eyebrows amongst civic and well-meaning Levellers, as they engage in a wild and free discourse

on the nitty gritty of living a new paradigm while the old world turns upside down.

Four songs
uncharted territory
a civilisation that's shifting away from the personal to the collective
and all our resistances to becoming real people.

Where smalltown grievances sour the possibility of community action (I Resign)
where indulgence of emotion wrecks relationships (Bad Mood.)
where behaviour, pose and attitude thwart the future (I Believe).

The Singer as mockingbird lays everything bare,
brings his actions to the mirror, exposes us all.

My selfish, selfish self.

You could call it environmental or mature punk (is there such a thing? is this the tribute we are paying?) It's as if some of us weren't able sell our souls in the last few decades, no matter how hard we tried. And even though the big industrial cities carry all the top tunes (still pinned on youth's great tragedy), we can't help but forge sharp lines and energetic tempos out of what is left behind and out of sight - village dance halls, people in transition, the moodiness and space of a winter afternoon. What else are our hands for, except to pluck strings, pick up drumsticks? Feet to tap wooden floors, and mouths to sing? Or sometimes yell.

Interior attention
Extrovert execution

of experience from the edge of Eastern England
exposed to the elements, independent, still rebellious, at the end of the line.

It's a bargain basement sound, dancey enough to move to, but with enough smartness in the lyrics to make you pay attention. Words count here, especially in the witty eco-lament, It Costs the Earth. Preston's intensely personal voice is nicely juxtaposed with essential beats, guitar riffs and snatches of "off-stage" keyboards, as if some travelling players are just leaving town. The beats are all good and urgent - the kind of music that makes you feel that although the corporations might try to co-opt the whole world and its culture, some songs will always be for the people.

Every little helps . . . as they say.

Charlotte Du Cann
Suffolk
March 2010


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