29th Sep, 2021

MUSIC MATTERS - Finding Common Ground in Leamington and Selecter's 40th anniversary edition out now

Coventry Editorial 6th May, 2021

COVENTRY Music Museum curator Pete Chambers BEM writes for the Observer.

Common Ground

The new CD ‘Common Ground’ is a collaboration from Leamington’s Jake Wilson with two other musicians who also now live in Leamington – Kiril Georgiev, founder of the Bulgarian folk-group, Lot Lorien, and Adam Jurewicz, a virtuoso classical guitarist from Poland.

Jake has in the past worked with the greatly missed fiddle legend (and former Coventry resident) Dave Swarbrick.

Picture by David Eaves. s

Jake has also travelled as far as Antarctica to perform his wonderful songs there.

He said: “We’re particularly keen to draw attention to the album in the local region, as the whole project is deeply rooted in Leamington’s main park, the Jephson Gardens – we met each other by chance in the gardens, composed and arranged several of the tracks there.

“The album cover and booklet also feature beautiful infra-red photographs of trees in the gardens, that we commissioned specially from a local photographer.”

On the page dedicated to ‘Common Ground’, www.jakewilsonmusic.com/commonground/, you’ll find more information about this album and can also listen to the first three tracks.

As you’ll hear, it includes British folksongs with newly composed musical settings, alongside original songs and instrumentals.

Jake added: “I hope listeners will agree that it has quite a distinctive sound, with the three of us playing very different guitars (steel-strung, nylon-string and resonator), and the combination of my English vocals with Eastern European rhythms and harmonies.

“People will feel that its message is timely, as the idea of ‘Common Ground’ – the solidarity of a shared experience, looking for similarities rather than differences, and the value of communal outside spaces like the Jephson Gardens – seems particularly important at the moment.”

This album definitely has its base in folk music, I’m getting touches of Pentangle here (and that’s a big compliment), there’s a slice of Fairport Convention, though likenesses aside the sound is very much their own.

With its triple guitar sound and foreign language vocals it creates a unique soundscape that’s unashamedly on trend.

It’s a beautiful album, very much a Sunday morning coming down vibe, maybe one for YOUR collection.


Too Much Pressure 40th Anniversary edition

Well, the remastered version of The Selecter’s first album ‘Too Much Pressure’ is finally out, and massive congratulations go to all involved as the Selecter website proudly exclaims that it’s number one in the vinyl charts.

It’s the number one independent album and it’s at number 24 in the official album charts.

The band thanks everyone who bought a copy (then and now).

I’m loving the CD box set that includes that ‘moment in time’ live recording of the band at Tiffany’s unheard for 40 years.

I was there, and to hear it again in such great fidelity is a wonderful thing (and to also hear Pauline name-check Cov landmarks like The Albany pub and Walsgrave Hospital).

It details a band that in full flow a superbly tight unit, musically, lyrically and vocally.

I’m so glad that this classic of an album is being treated with all the respect it deserves.

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