“16 years since his last album, it’s time to salute anti-hero Gavin Friday, who returns fittingly, at a time of upheaval, of political chaos, and of spiritual, financial and moral bankruptcy. Ireland is a very different place to the country Shag Tobacco was recorded in, and the intervening decade and a half coincided with a prolific work period for the singer. From soundtracks for In America , The Boxer and Get Rich Die Tryin’ with Quincy Jones to collaborating on Nothing like the Sun with Gavin Bryars and the Royal Shakespeare Company, he moved away from the conventional parameters of the album. There was his acting debut (in Neil Jordan’s Breakfast on Pluto), Scott Walker collaborations and a Kurt Weill show at Dublin Theatre Festival. In personal terms, he endured illness, the end of his marriage and his father’s death. To some, the personal is political; but Gavin Friday is clear that this is “an emotional, not a political, album”. The singer likens catholic to “waking from a deep sleep, of letting go and coming to terms with loss”. And somewhere in the middle of all that, there are slivers of love, contentment and romance.”
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