Ottersgear CD – A Kind of Review

Ottersgear Cover

by Norman Hadley

Let there always be young men on this earth.

Let there be young women also, of vast and dazzling talent, but let us speak of them some other time.

Go quickly – gather the elders in the square, that we may finger our pocket-watches, stroke our beards of many hues and ask, in rasping whispers, can it be true? That, even now, more than forty harvests since Astral Weeks, there are still swains in gardens misty wet with rain, who gravely shoulder the privilege of youth, howling gratitude unto a heedless moon. Whose eyes, as yet unlined by the origami of time, will sing of what they’ve seen so far and never fear to waltz across the strings of an old guitar.

Let it also be ordained these men take maids to their embraces. Let these maids gaze adoringly upon their cloth-capped troubadours, that their menfolk may know the sweet burden of belief, of expectations their tousled heads will never stretch to encompass but grow wise in the falling short.

And always, always, let them sing to the fullest volume of their hearts, that the world may feel the smarting of the simple things, to step beneath a swollen sky at cusp of dusk, to navigate a torch-lit lane to greet the girl who makes a world complete, whose kiss will lift him far above the road of croaking toads.

Then may the elders say, with many a begrudging grumble, that youth is not always wasted on the young.

[Post review notes for fact fans : Van Morrison was 23 when Astral Weeks was recorded. Neil Young (geddit?) was 26 when Harvest (tangentially referred to in the review) was recorded]

Here are the two videos I took of Mikey’s solo set at Spotlight.

Here are some links to his myspace pages.


14 Responses

  1. I understand that Kev has written a proper review of The Quest for Rest that should surface soon. This was just a thumbnail sketch based on two listens and a live solo gig.

  2. I like it Norman, its a strangely apt response to The Quest for Rest. Mikey and co. will no doubt up sticks and leave Lancaster at some point, this for me, has Lancaster, its environs and its freakier folk written all over it, Lovely. It’ll serve as a joyful reminder.

  3. Is he saying Mikey has done nothing new and that that has made some old men happy? Is, in fact the tone of this “kind of hyperbole” , slightly patronizing?
    Quest For Rest is the kind of album that is overdue. Suggesting it is a re-hash of Astral Weeks is way off the mark. Mikey has and exercises unique vision.

    • Norman over to you…


    • Morning, Hooblet. Thanks for taking the trouble to comment.

      No, I’m not even remotely calling The Quest for Rest a rehash of Astral Weeks. What I *am* saying is that it deserves to be mentioned in the same breath. I know no higher praise.

      Do you?

      • Mikey Kenney is brilliant. This review seems fine too. I don’t see what there is to get touchy about, Hooblet.

  4. I didn’t think it did him justice. Just some hyperbole that makes Mikey sound like he belongs in a childrens book.

  5. P.S Should we set up a site where the artists criticize the critics, called Review Of The Lunecy Review? Would that be fair and good?
    Just my hand grenade for today πŸ˜›

    • Hi Stuart.

      If I’m reading this thread correctly, you and Hooblet are one and the same – am I right? Don’t s’pose it makes much difference – just curious.

      For anyone who is in any doubt, I loved this record to smithereens and wanted to respond to it in a way that conveyed affection with a smidgeon of gentle humour. If that didn’t come across to you, then the fault is mine.

      If this style of reviewing doesn’t do it for you, I don’t think there’s anything to stop you writing your own piece on Mikey’s work and sending it in. I’d encourage anyone to give this game a go -it’s waaaaay harder than it looks. Unless you go for the cop-out “I liked this, ****” route. And where’s the fun in that?

      One more thing:- of *course* Mikey belongs in a children’s book. We all do. I bagsy Roger from Swallows and Amazons.

  6. Hooblet is friend of mine. Ooh I love the wild abandon of opinions πŸ™‚

  7. Whoa. Its all too much. Ottersgear sound as a pound. I didn’t like yer twee review, but at least you mean Mikey well so thats alright then.

  8. *facepalm*

  9. Hi all, could I just point out that the copies of The Quest for Rest that you’re currently listening to/discussing, are un-mastered promotional copies – the finished article – with cover not done in crayon, DW! πŸ˜‰ – should be out soon. Cheers,

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