By the time of The Beta Band's signing to Regal Records in late 1996, Gordon Anderson, one of the co-founders of The Beta Band (originally known as The Pigeons) was forced to fly home to Scotland due to ill-health, and has subsequently proved too unstable to rejoin the London based band. His co-writing credits include such Beta Band faves as "Dry the Rain," "B + A" "Dogs Got a Bone" and "The Cow's Wrong." Now a singular singer/ songwriter talent, Anderson works with Scotland's The Fence Collective, a micro-indie label of northeast Fife bands including Billy Pilgrim, Gummi Bako, James Yorkston, King Creosote, and Pip Dylan, all of whom play on each other's songs live and on each other's records, and have been quietly writing and recording songs for years with little regard for the music industry, producing some of the most exciting home-grown music to grace Britain. As part of the collective, The Lone Pigeon has amassed a huge collection of songs, instrumentals and weirdness, and released two now-deleted mailorder CDR albums on Fence. In Spring 2001, The Lone Pigeon caught the imagination of London indie label Bad Jazz, who released the Touched By Tomoko EP. This record gained widespread critical acclaim with rave reviews, an NME feature, and a session for BBC Radio One - all of which helped the EP sell out on its day of release. Like Skip Spence's Oar, Concubine Rice is the purest possible representation of a human being. It captures one of the most honest and intimate, personal journeys you are likely to hear on record. Perhaps the most naked moments are those recorded soon after Anderson's departure from the Beta Band, his lowest ebb. In contrast, one could easily imagine songs such as "Boats" as outtakes from the Beach Boys' Smile sessions, and "Melonbeard" as an archived acid-drenched Syd Barrett song, while others, though technically na´ve, are still as heartfelt as John Lennon's Imagine album. Although all the songs on Concubine Rice are recorded lo-fi, limitations in technology have not diminished The Lone Pigeon's imagination. Concubine Rice has the elements of some of the greatest musical geniuses of the 20th Century. It is a desperate, honest, humorous, intimate, madcap, na´ve, poignant, tragic record, but most of all it is effortlessly brilliant.
item # 6662