'We all know that Marc Almond can sing, but it still comes as a shock to hear his thrillingly drawn-out climax to Harle’s 'The Arrival of Spring', emoting words adapted from William Blake with operatic oomph’ The Independent
Marc Almond Vocals
John Harle Saxophones, Keyboards, Vocals
Sarah Leonard Soprano Voice
Iain Sinclair Voice (Brighton)
Ian Thomas Drums
Hugh Wilkinson Percussion
Tom Walsh Trumpet
John Parricelli Guitars
Dudley Phillips Bass
Steve Lodder Piano and Keyboards
Spencer Cozens Keyboards
Imagine the fog closing in, shadows coiling in murky alleys… London’s sinister past is the inspiration behind the new concept album from Soft Cell legend Marc Almond and the composer and saxophonist John Harle.
From the gallows at Tyburn to chilling tales of Jack the Ripper and the legend of Spring-Heeled Jack, The Tyburn Tree takes you on an atmospheric, sometimes shocking musical walk through the London streets and among London’s ghosts — some real, some from the songwriters’ own imaginations.
Whether dipping into tales of murder and execution, drawing on words by William Blake or forging a unique take on a classic nursery rhyme, Almond’s incomparable voice combined with Harle’s pulsating score promises an overwhelming musical experience.
Almond's own lyrics form the backbone of the album and concert, drawing on his personal fascination with London's anti-history, alongside texts from visionary Londoner William Blake (Fortress and Jerusalem), the poet Tom Pickard (a terrifying reworking of London Bridge is Falling Down) and Elizabethan magus John Dee (Dark Angel).
But while the lyrics stalk the darkest passageways of London’s history the music is unashamedly contemporary: drawing on his own fervent song-writing skills, electronic dance and ambient music, Harle (composer of O Mistress Mine for Elvis Costello, and the theme to BBC1’s Silent Witness) has matched Almond’s lyrics with dramatic, bitter-sweet songs full of emotion, driving rhythms and black humour. For this very special tour Harle and Almond are joined by Sarah Leonard (soprano voice) and their musicians. The great London writer and poet, Iain Sinclair, also joins the cast in Brighton.
Listen to a track from The Tyburn Tree by clicking the video in the media gallery above, or find out more about the tour and listen to clips from all the album tracks here:
"There are splashes of cabaret and jazz, but the echoing, crepuscular atmosphere is dominated by Almond's impressive neo-operatic singing (some distance from electro-pop!), with a thumping, galloping finale that uses an extract from Blake's "prophetic book" Jerusalem. Dark but dashing." **** The Tyburn Tree album review, The Guardian