GLYN BAILEY – Songs From The Old Illawalla (GlynB Music)

Two years on from the release of his debut album, Glyn Bailey presents us with the follow-up, and to be honest it could not be more different. Whereas the other one was a collection of songs reflecting Bailey’s life experiences, this one appears on first inspection to be a concept album based on the Wild West of America! From the cover art to the opening spaghetti Western soundtrack of ‘Yahoo!’, the album seems to be drenched in Americana, which is odd as Bailey is as quintessentially English as you can get. After that opening track, however, things do settle down and you realise that this is another collection of his idiosyncratic songs, delivered in his best Bowie growl. ‘Moonwalkers’ pays tribute to the Apollo astronauts who walked on the moon, while ‘Kafkaesque World’ is sung from the viewpoint of a torturer. Not so keen on ‘The Crow’, getting the feeling that he is cramming too many lyrics into the song just for the sake of it, but ‘Glory’ redresses the balance with a touching song about the death of a loved one. The dark underside to his lyrics is really evident on ‘The Clown’ and ‘Groomed’, both of which deal with child abuse, the former inspired by a headline in his local paper about a kiddies party clown who had a lifetime ban imposed on him after he was caught. ‘The Doomed Ship Allegory’ takes a vicious swipe at big corporation’s threat to the planet, a theme echoed in the opener ‘Yahoo!’, and ‘School Reunion’ will remind a lot of people of the uncomfortable feeling that these get-togethers can sometimes engender. The American theme only really returns for the final track, the epic eight minute tale of wanna-be singer ‘The Ballad Of Deano’. Told in an effective narrative style, and containing perhaps his best performance of the album, it is a fitting end to a varied and enjoyable album. Once you get past the uncanny similarity of the vocals to a certain Mr. Bowie, you can appreciate Glyn Bailey for the talented songwriter that he undoubtedly is. For more info check out