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  Liquid Mercury  
  The Wild Swans  
  Occultation Records  
Release Date:
Reviewed by:
  Indoor Miner  

Some years ago, in those distant pre-internet days when you still occasionally had a bit of time on your hands, I compiled a list of my all time unsung heroes. I mention this because one of the first names to be included was that of Wild Swans mainman Paul Simpson quite apart from his other achievements with Care (and more latterly as Skyray), this is a man who played keyboards on the classic Teardrop Explodes debut, Sleeping Gas and sang on The Wild Swans' Revolutionary Spirit. These are not just two of the greatest post-punk singles, they're two of the greatest records ever. Full stop.

Fast forward to 2009 and Simpson has reformed The Wild Swans, or re-activated the name at the very least as he's the only original member present. Not that anyone should feel remotely short-changed as Simpson has acquired a killer line-up with members who've played with Julian Cope, Echo & the Bunnymen, Spiritualised, and the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Best of all, however, is that Simpson is singing again. Those Skyray instrumentals were all fine and dandy and all that, but it isn't half good to hear Paul's voice again!

And if you thought the comeback single, English Electric Lightning, was good (and I certainly did!), then you'll love Liquid Mercury. With a melody strong enough to get stuck in my head after July's live shows, I was really looking forward to hearing a recorded version of Liquid Mercury. And I was not to be disappointed the song is every bit as good as I remembered and it's been given a great production with some gorgeous slide guitar c/o Mr Michael Mooney. And as if that isn't enough, the spoken word b-side The Wickedest Man In The World is fabulous, finding Simpson talking about Liverpool of yore and how his ambitions are evaporating and things are getting harder, over some lovely tinkling piano, bubbling bass and yet more slide guitar. Each year the stars are a little more distant, he muses. It brings a tear to my eyes, but don't worry, Paul. Carry on this like and you'll be holding those stars in your hands.

Single of the year.

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     Concert: Thu.23.Jul.09
     Concert: Fri.24.Jul.09


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