Albatross is the second album from UK based rockers Thirsty featuring one of the founding members of The Quireboys, Guy Bailey, and Russian poet Irina D, who collaborated to write lyrics covering diverse subjects such as a botched lobotomy and the trials of space travel. Guy takes lead vocals on nearly all the tracks and plays all the guitars. Making up the rest of the band are, fellow former Quireboy, Chris Johnstone, on bass guitar and keyboards; Simon Hanson, from Squeeze, on drums and percussion; with guest backing vocals from Lynne Jackaman of Jackaman/St Jude. The album was produced, mixed and mastered by Chris Kimsey, who has worked with The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and B. B. King to name but a few. Albatross was released on 7th November via Thristy Music.
I was relieved when I read that all the songs aimed to be less than three minutes long, as my latent punk rock leanings mean I’m a fan of the shorter, hard, fast song! Whilst it’s fair to say these were shorter songs I couldn’t really describe them as hard and fast! The tracks were mellower, with more of a slow burn, think back to the days when you could have a smoke and a drink in a pub, men wore smoking jackets, ladies with long gloves and equally long cigarette holders were the epitomé of glamour! Those days may long be gone but Guy’s vocals, honed by a long time smoking habit, suit that era to a T! We go back in time, back to the eighteenth century, in fact, for the first track, which just happens to be the longest track at over three and a half minutes, The Albatross based on Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s epic poem ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ gives the album it’s title. I had to travel forward to the twentieth century for the first similarity I picked up, which was The Everly Brothers’ The Price of Love (and it was released before I was born so it’s a good job I have a Tardis!). Next we come to the Bob Dylanesque Chaos before moving onto Orlando, which isn’t about Orlando Bloom, well I don’t think it is, it’s about Orlando a character, who changes sex, in the novel by Virginia Woolf. Say It Ain’t So Joe has a flavour of The Kinks’ Sunny Afternoon with a bit of added fiddle!
Black Hole was very The Quireboys meet The Rolling Stones and we stay with The Rolling Stones vibe for Beat of Her Heart. Va Banque we come back to the smokey theme, as it reminded me of Darrell Bath and could easily have slotted in to his album Roll Up. For Shore of Light I picked up a strange similarity in Kool and The Gang’s Cherish and it’s times like this when Google comes in useful because, although I was singing ‘Cherish the love’ in my head, I wouldn’t have found the song without it! Another weird and wondeful comparison for the groovy Parliament of Fools, well I thought it was groovy, I’m thinking Groove Is In The Heart by Deee-lite meets T-Rex’s Bang a Gong (Get It On). Irina D takes lead vocals for Parliament of Fools with her breathy vocals reminding me of Wendy James’. We then come to the bottom of the glass, so to speak, with the last track Patriotic Little Trash, with some gentle, Hawaiin style guitars and some powerful gospel style backing vocals from Lynne Jackaman.
Eleven songs to sate your thirst and if the hard stuff isn’t your tipple then we’ll just stick to a cup of good old breakfast tea. T for Thirsty, E for Exquisite, A for Albatross!
1. The Albatross
4. Say It Ain’t So Joe
5. Black Hole
6. Beat of Her Heart
7. Va Banque
8. Shore of Light
9. Parliament of Fools
10. Cosmic Aphrodite
11. Patriotic Little Trash
Thirsty Line Up:
Guy Bailey – Lead Vocals/Guitars
Chris Johnstone – Bass/Keys
Simon Hanson – Drums/Percussion
Lyrics by Guy Bailey and Russian Poet Irina D (who also does lead vocals on Cosmic Aphrodite and backing vocals on some tracks).
Guest backing vocals from Lynne Jackaman (Jackaman; Saint Jude)
Produced by Chris Kimsey