Ian Prowse has been producing quality albums for the last 30 years or so. Whether under the Pele moniker, Amsterdam, or his own name, you are guaranteed intelligent, hook-laden classic pop, sometimes with a bit of history attached, and always with a committed political stance. ‘Here I Lie’ ticks all the boxes, and it’s terrific!
The cover painting of Joan of Arc by Paul Delaroche, harks back to the classic Pele album, ‘Fireworks’, and the sound retains that classic pop/rock hook ridden sounds that made that album such a treasure of delights. But there is so much more than that.
Prowse knows how to take a story, historical, or personal, and make it have a universal appeal. The title track is ample proof. Written to his daughter upon his passing in the future, this is just a beautiful classic song, that I just listened to with a huge lump in my throat, that comes back every time I hear that beautiful refrain on the tin whistle. With sentiment for all generations
Oh I didn’t go. I’m here you know, out on the Mersey wind. I am in you, you are in me, and that’s just the way it is. I kissed you on the face tonight. I passed you on the stairs. Sometimes you even let yourself down, it will be alright in the end. Here I lie.
‘Joseph’ views the Joseph Plunkett and Grace Gifford doomed relationship from Grace’s point of view as she prepares to marry the man she loves hours before his execution after the Easter rising in 1916. With an Honours degree in Irish studies, he’s well qualified to give his tuneful take on the tragic love story that continues to beguile and entrance.
Time has not edged his desire for social change and equality. Pele’s 1992 ‘Raid the Palace’ has become ‘All the Royal Houses’. It’s the avowed socialist’s call for a more even land, “for the many, not for the few”.
Highgrove house will be for hire. Sandringham will be on fire. Balmoral will be all mine.
Noting the infamous occasion when those without a home and living on the street, had their sleeping bags, tents and what little people personal possessions they had, removed to facilitate a royal wedding, he intones,
Move the homeless for flag wavers.
So many highlights in an album that will last. ‘Rebel Girl’, Written for his daughter, Rosalita (named after the Springsteen song), ‘Ten Second Journey’, written about the gripping Falling Man Documentary, ‘The Ballad of North John Street’, famous Liverpool thoroughfare, ‘Ned Maddrell’ eulogises the last Manx speaker in the Isle of Man.
This is a gorgeous album, filled with intelligent lyrics, driving rhythms, infectious songs, emotion and heart! The immensely likeable Liverpudlian is known for his scintillating live shows and has been lauded and worked with such luminaries as Elvis Costello, Christy Moore, and Damien Dempsey. All People who know a thing or two about great music. And this is great music!
“Here I Lie” is released on Kitchen Disco Records on 26th April 2019.