Bar & Theatre

28 Parliament Street, Kilkenny

A Lazarus Soul

21:

00

In stock

On July 5th, 2024 Bohemia Records release, “No Flowers Grow in Cement Gardens,” the long-awaited new album from a lazarus soul.

The album is the follow-up to 2019’s much-loved “The D They Put Between the R & L,”  

After a long gestation period, the band (Brian Brannigan, Anton Hegarty, Julie Bienvenu & Joe Chester, half of whom live in Ireland, half in France) convened in Miracle Studios, Rennes, for four days of intensive recording, live, together in a single room, their first opportunity to do so since global events had kept them apart for two years. The session, a fury of largely improvised and incendiary versions of ten brand new Brannigan-penned songs, forms the basis of this new record which also features guest contributions from legendary violinist, Steve Wickham. 

The album was recorded and mixed in France by Joe Chester.

“No Flowers Grow in Cement Gardens,” (named after a line from The Fall’s “Psykick Dancehall,” aptly, as this line-up of a lazarus soul came together specifically for a 2011 tribute to that band) is a meditation on wilderness, nature and spirit. 

Brannigan’s lyrics, written during long walks across the Bog of Allen and along the Royal canal, have never been more masterful, reaching new heights of visceral, unflinching song-writing. Brannigan is at the peak of his powers here, capable of turning from eviscerating fury to unexpected moments of tenderness and heartbreak in a single couplet. Songs of police brutality (Black Maria) sit side by side with loving portraits of Moore Street dealers (The Dealers) and thrilling blow-by-blow accounts of three-day benders, worthy of Flann O’Brien (Wildflowers). There is humanity at the heart of all of these songs, even the vicious teacher, meeting out physical abuse on his pupils finds some kind of understanding in Factory Fada.

Musically, “No Flowers Grow in Cement Gardens,” is the sound of a band on fire, unleashed after a long period of separation. It is the sound of a band relishing being together once more. Importantly, for a record about wildness, it is a fiercely honest record, made in an old-fashioned way with as little technological interference as possible. Like many of their favourite records, you can hear the mistakes. The approach pays off, especially on GIM, which blossomed from first hearing to the recorded version in just two hours. From the thrilling garage drums and bass of opener, Black Maria, to the sparkling electric guitar lines of The Flower I Flung Into Her Grave, The Dealers’ acoustic guitars and strings, the wild harmonium and bowed guitars of Wildflowers, to the dreamy Diver Walsh and the Sonic Youth-meets-Richard Thompson Factory Fada, this is surely the band’s most musically ambitious record to date.