David Thomas Broughton - Monolith Cocktail

With her usual purview-rich critique, Ayfer Simms immerses herself in the literary  and contextually rich encapsulating timbre of David Thomas Broughton.  A vividly earthy and subtly plaintive tragedy, ‘In Service’ precedes his latest collaboration with the Juice Vocal Ensemble, the Sliding The Same Way LP, released on the 22nd September by the Scottish label Song, By Toad Records.

David Thomas Broughton and Juice Vocal Ensemble   ‘In Service’  (Song, By Toad Records) 

Lift David’s quiet voice timbre and seek refuge in it: The calm and pace of it is deceiving. David wanders in a seemingly peaceful grace with a guitar laid at his feet. His notes cadenced and pulsating as if roughly played on the side of a road, autochthonous epode salivating through his lips. David’s music is out for a walk, subtle in interrupting mundane and polite conversations, and placid enough to believe him harmless. A guitar, a soothing voice, supporting harmonious vocals from the Juice ensemble. His voice resonates like Boris Vian’s singing “Mr le President”, stirring an imperfect tone, chiseled on stage, improvised, honest, with George Brassen’s fellowship spirit, Leonard Cohen’s presence.

The lyrics then, like a torpedo under us: I deeply regret all events that did pass. I killed a man wi’ a broken glass”. Incommensurable sufferings emerges, William Blake is rocking in his chair furiously writing, words of the deepest creed are thrown on an empty stage, a road, his own empty room, with the guitar laying at his feet. David is composing, he is calm, and the factories of the industrial England are smoking above his head. The past of mothers and fathers are infused in the heavily charged atmosphere.

We are thrown to the edge of a frightening abyss, his memories become ours. He is the child. The scars, the crimes, the alcohol, the little things, the little things engraved into the child psyche, one thousand moments, details, angst. Love and love expectations. Perception beyond programing. David is a Lautreamont who has lost his romantic creed, who has left the lonely tower for the crowd, he is the fighter, the one at the bar provocative, and there are no more painful angst, David has understand what made him, he has woken to the meaning of his memories, experiences, his youth. There is a voice. There is a powerful prose, morbid at times. We are in the mid of an ocean without a shore: we may drown and we may sink deeper yet the sea is our place. David is a song writer. The guitar lays at his feet.

The backup vocals of the juice ensemble supports and harmonises David’s solemn tone, lifting the whim to an enticing warmer ground, breaking off sometimes from the tracks to pursue a life of its own. There are jazzy moments. Theatrical ones. Anthem like chanting. There is a field with working slaves. Us? Like prisoners escaping with rhythm.

David’s prose is carried on a surprising and unpredictable river that crosses many landscape all bared by a shadowy enigma and sadness.


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