Therunningchelsea is the rather strange name that Suffolk born and Newcastle based musician Tom Hollingworth chooses to release this album under. It’s something of a musical cooperative with Charlie Walsh on vocals, Rob and Ed Harringtion of Ajanta and poet Al Cummins all involved.
Musically, it’s an eclectic mish mash of sixties English psychedelia and acid, at times prog rock, at times alternative but never boring. It’s full of interesting ideas, challenging and unlike most wallpaper music around just now, makes you sit up and take notice. At times it feels like we’re in an art school movie soundtrack or background music to an art installation. It’s most certainly worth sticking with and after a few listens stand out tracks start to emerge. Songs like Requiem For Dorothy show a deft touch and on Spread Yo-Self Fatly there’s black humour and drama as well as the spirit of Sid Barrett, Can and Captain Beefheart.
Rise is a downbeat acoustic song that could grace any album by the biggest selling bands of the last ten years. The Moonstruck Confederate is never going to be a million seller but that’s not what it’s about. Sometimes self indulgence and breaking the formulaic approach can work. It’s about writing for yourself and not thinking your Gary Barlow. This album is a return to sanity and as far from Simon Cowell as one can possibly get.
Don’t go changing.
Review by Charlie Brown