THE BEVIS FROND
We’re Your Friends, Man Fire Brit-psych hero still in bloom on album 23.
At 65 years old and with more than 20 albums behind him, The Bevis Frond’s Nick Saloman is forever industrious. As well as running his own label and record shop, he’s come up with another double album’s worth of songs. We’re Your Friends, Man finds the veteran musician in reflective mood, although getting older by no means signals a slide into grouchiness. As he points out on Theft: ‘I’m an old muso, an interesting relic, I’ve never been busted, so I’m not psychedelic.’ If you want to pick a theme, it’s coming to terms with disappointment and lives gone slightly awry, punctuated with outbursts of frustration. Always masterfully understated, he makes quietly devastating, poignant asides, such as the reference in Little Orchestras to songs that are ‘intended to console but hurt instead’. Closing track You’re On Your Own is a 13-minute tale of a hellish drive over London’s Westway, ending in a squall of twin guitar duelling. Frond fans have come to expect the equivalent of an allyou-can-eat buffet with every release, but the glut of material here is difficult to get your head around in one sitting. A little more focus wouldn’t have gone amiss, but life’s messy like that.