Written by: Paul Blake
ONLY AVAILABLE AT LIVE PERFORMANCES
7th City, Lumps debut album. A beautifully crafted masterpiece of free flowing harmonies and dream like melodies…… Er.. no. This album was made in the same way a blacksmith makes a horseshoe, superheated steal beaten to shape with a large, heavy hammer. And it is all the more glorious for it. Their Facebook page describes them as mongrel rock, it hits the nail right on the head. Each song has its own distinct flavour and yet all carry the same sense of triumph. We’re talking heart rendering pub anthems sung by true local heroes.
The production of the album is by no means exemplary but I’m not going to sit here and quibble over the handwriting when someone has something this important to say. At the start of each song ‘Regular Salisbury Bloke’ gives a short introduction in a voice that makes you think of a Wiltshire Al Capone. The songs themselves are extracts from a life growing up in Salisbury, tales of hardships and legends, lessons learnt and no loves lost. The opening song ‘Carmarlite Way’ takes us all the way back to frontman Collin Holton’s youth. In what is one of the oldest parts of Salisbury, in the shadow of its great spire, lays at best, an unattractive 1960’s council estate known as the Friary. Seen through young Collins eyes it is a land of opportunities and enlightenment accompanied with thrashing cords and classic riffs. My favourite song to hear live, though sadly not quite capturing its true quality in this recording, is Gunga Din. A tale of a young apprentice at Salisbury Tec (college) picked out as an easy target and bullied. It strikes at the heart of something we have all probably seen or done. Turning away, not getting involved and the suppressed guilt that stays with us right through to our adult life. In what is this albums catchiest song (“If we could start again, if we could start again……..” Yep, I’ll be singing that for days now) Collin looks back on his lack of action with regret but also with the acknowledgment of the strength of character shown by the other boy. All is forgiven Collin.
The album title ‘7th City’ was so called after Lonely Planet named Salisbury the 7th best city to visit in the world. Why? The Magna Carta, the Cathedral, the history. But nowhere do they mention the Battle of Bemmerton Heath. This is definitely an album to add to your cd collection, for one day I’m sure it will find its place amongst the important historical documents of their beloved City. But whilst we still have the opportunity to hear it performed live I suggest you get out there and live it, they are history in the making.