Black Rain. DH Lawrence & The Vaudeville Skiffle Show and Eugenie Lee

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A few months ago I reviewed an album for Americana UK by DH Lawrence & The Vaudeville Skiffle Show, a band portraying themselves as a skiffle unit from Nottingham. I didn’t really buy into the skiffle schtick finding them somewhat more sophisticated, another fine example of home grown bands who are really grabbing the Americana folk roots nettle. This is obvious on their latest endeavour, a new song that’s accompanied by a very fine video that uses the imagery of Korean/Australian artist Eugenie Lee. Lee is a multi media artist who “constructs imaginative psychodramas around the unquantifiable and irrational nature of pain” and the band contacted her for permission to use some of her images and films to illustrate Black Rain, their latest song which uses the title as a metaphor for pain. The result is an imaginative and visually striking film, polymorphous fluids, barbed wire punishment machines (shades of Kafka here) and dramatic tableaux, all from Lee’s oeuvre are scored to a song that’s evidence of this “skiffle” band’s progression.

The song itself opens with spooky singing saw and ominous vocals before the band kick in with a low-slung groove, the bass rumbling and fiddle skirling. There’s a menacing instrumental towards the end where chaos threatens, the guitars meandering, the fiddle and saw squalling and squealing before they settle back into the chorus. It’s a fine performance and will surely please folk who like The Handsome Family or Hillfolk Noir.

You can see the video below and the good news is that DH Lawrence & The Vaudeville Show are bringing their show to Glasgow on 6th July at Nice & Sleazy for what promises to be a fine night.

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