Boomchang Records

artists: simma - lychnobite

 

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"Newcastle's Acoustic Hero" with his critically acclaimed new album, Lychnobite on Boomchang Records playing in 2014. Simma is a singer, musician and writer from Newcastle upon Tyne, in North East England. He started gigging in 1997 and is now one of the best-known performers on his home town music scene. He has appeared all over the entertainment and creative scene locally, performing songs, spoken word, and a 4 year stint as Part of BBC Newcastle's Saturday breakfast show.

Born and raised in the west end, Simma's was delighted to sign for Steve Cunningham's Boomchang records last year. Simma's new album Lychnobite represents his most ambitious project yet, in terms of songwriting, musicianship and performance. Drawing on the vast experience and knowledge of label boss Steve, the album includes contributions from some of the very best performers in the field including Radio 2 folk award nominee Dan Walsh, ex- Members of The Proud Ones, The Soviets and The Kush, and even the award-winning Billingham Silver Band. This latest album has been described by critics at "a diverse collection of songs that are inspirational, soul-felt, humorous and full of hope " and "a fine, impressive and rewarding record".

The songs are becoming live favourites around the bars and venues around Tyneside and beyond, coupled with Simma's legendary stage banter and comic poems, they make for a fantastic show. Simma says "This is, to my mind, the most complete piece of work I've ever done. The songs represent themes that are close to my heart, including seizing the day, enjoying the moment and living life to the full. I've tried to tell stories on the album, literally and symbolically, and I think people will enjoy the journey. The diversity of musical styles and the sheer joy that the performers involved have managed to capture has made this the best project I've ever embarked on"

Pleasing debut from popular North East singer songwriter
***1/2

Simma, Anthony Simpson, is a popular North East singer songwriter signed to Steve Cunningham's fledgling new label, Boomchang. Primarily, they are a label more attuned to downloads, but have put together a 'physical' copy of Simma's debut in a round display tin with bespoke packaging.
A larger than life character, Simma, under the guidance of Steve Cunningham, has crafted a veritable stew of an album incorporating different musical styles. Opener Voodon't, set in Louisiana, is a cautionary tale of the dangers of self-indulgence at the 'last chance saloon.' Steve Cunningham's vibrant trumpet injects a rollicking tempo, Simma's inner voice tellis him that; 'something ain't quite right.' He's answered by the fine vocals of Debora Butler, cast in the role of the 'wise woman.' 'Boy you're living the devils life on the whiskey and the women and the wine', a strong, solid beginning.
Black Dog Walks has an urgent acoustic roots(y) feel with some excellent banjo playing courtesy of Dan Walsh. Sing, with its brass band backing, and joyous-voiced choir is a celebration in its call for the rejection of cynicism.

Blue Eyed Baby is a catchy song you'd imagine Lindisfarne may have tackled back in the day. Mr Simpson proves he is no slouch as a wordsmith, either. 'Brace this defeat when it knocks at your door, you can see to the stars with your back on the floor, well you came here with nothing …'
Simma has, it would seem, had to fight his demons and the apt covering of Rod Clements Whisky Highway is 'my favourite song about drinking.' This acapella song proves that Simma's prepared to 'turn corners' in the pursuit of musical style contained herein. Again, this song is well executed with its layered multi harmonies. The 'fluidity' theme is further explored with The Drink: 'It's your joy, it's your selfish destruction.' The cheerful instrumental backing offsets the potential pitfall lurking within the lyric.

Sixteen Tons, the old Merle Travis song, is given a Geordie work out and provides an outlet for Steve Cunningham's excellent trumpet. A special word of praise goes to the excellent female singers; Kimberley Duke and Grace Simpson.

I Know What You're Really Thinking is disgustingly catchy with its wah wah guitars, backing vocals and theme of manipulation within relationships. Pop Song For An Old Girlfriend, consolidates the fact that this boy can write a catchy pop song.

Now Is The Time of Your Life is perhaps the key song on this set. Simma's Geordie lilt is particularly evident as he recognises the 'value of the moment'. 'Happy New Year, this is the one we've talked about.' The closing Place The Face again rings the subject matter changes touching on the topic of autism.

This is a fine debut from Simma. He has not shied away from personal demons, or social issues, but has embraced, and shared, his life experiences to make an impressive and rewarding record.

 

 
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