ALL THAT WE HAD, WE STOLE - PATCH & THE GIANT
LCM ALBUM OF THE WEEK
Release Date: 10th, February, 2017
Genre: Indie, Folk, Blues, Alternative
Band: Luke Owen (lead & backing vocals, acoustic guitar, mandolin), Angie Rance (backing vocals, accordion, piano, harmonica, trumpet, flugelhorn, baritone horn), Gabriel Merryfield (violin), Derek Yau (cello), Nick Edward Harris (backing vocals, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, harmonica) with special guests Tobias Humble (drums, percussion) and Nick Trepka (backing vocals, electric guitar, bass guitar)
Record Label: Absolute:
Tracks: 12 (+1 hidden bonus track)
London indie five piece Patch & The Giant are a very exciting live band, so it was very interesting to see how this energy would translate into their debut album, the imaginatively titled 'All That We Had, We Stole'. Their fresh music is a fusion of styles lending comparison to bands like US Indie folk 'Beirut', American Indie Rockers 'The Decemberists', a harder-edged 'Keston Cobblers Club' and Brighton's very own folk-rock band 'The Levellers'. It has a Irish folk-rock feel coupled with an almost eastern european influence at times, which we would like to name 'Celtic Balticana'. The album is full of rousing anthemic songs interspersed with some dark brooding and personal songs. It's complemented by Angie's accordion, harmonica and trumpet, Nick's bass and string playing from Gabriel and Derek. It's Luke's distinct vocal which give the album it's raw Celtic sounding edge.
This London-based five-piece have been making waves on the alt-folk scene since releasing their debut EP 'The Boatswain’s Refuge' back in 2013, with 'Love & War' is the only surviving track of that early EP to make the album. With this release Patch & The Giant looks set to mark their biggest and most exciting year to date. One of the things that the band is very famous for is Angie's uniquely ability to play trumpet and accordion at the same time. She is the 'mistress of multi-tasking' and has great backing vocal as well. Angie's playing provides the Balkan element to the mix. All twelve original songs were recorded at The Crypt Studio in London by Nick Trepka (Suzi Quatro, Roots Manuva, Madness).
The album opens with the rousing Irish almost punk sounding anthem 'The Beggar's Song' . It's always a live favourite with an instantly catchy and sing-a-long chorus. Full of energy and attitude with strong, choppy beats and soothing violins. "The price of a life is worth twice if it's nicer than a man on a street with no name"
With it's mandolin opening the radio-friendly 'A Local Man' has an almost Celticana feel. A driving beat with the accordion underpinning the central melody.
The place slows slightly for the reflective and dark edged 'The River'. Some excellent string arrangements and solo lift the track. It reminds us of The Keston Cobblers Club with some Mumford and Sons added for good measure.
Performed live at one of Bob Harris's UNder The Apple Tree session (below) 'Love & War' is another reflective song leading on perfectly from 'The River.' Some wonderful lyrics here as well. It's brooding deep upright double bass added texture, mood and tone.
The 'Dylanesque' harmonica intro on 'The Day You Went To Sea' launches into dark themed Irish folk. We love the chorus on this one, it's a bit of an earworm. Almost invoking a sea shanty or broadside 'The Sleeping Boat' contains a nautical theme with it's multiple references to the sea and sailing. One of my favourite P&TG songs and a real standout is 'Another Day', so I was delighted to see it included on the new album. A wonderful big, lively and anthemic song full of high energy. It's a real toe-tapping live crowd favourite as well, with plenty of audience participation. This is one of songs that showcases Angie's multi-tasking abilities. Balticana Irish Folk....Hey!!!
The pace drops slightly for 'Flowers' another very clever piece of songwriting and yet again a real ear-worm of a chorus. Luke on lead with Angie on backing vocals. Lovely string and brass arrangement too. The song suddenly explodes towards the end with Luke's emotive vocals added extra angst and passion. 'Flowers' is one of the debut album's lead singles. The video was filmed by our good friends in We Used To Make Things.
The reflective and gentle 'Where My Body Lies' starts with it's piano and cello intertwining and builds to a full ensemble piece. It reminding us of the great Glen Hansard. The beautifully stripped 'Are You Listening?' has a very simple yet very effective arrangement. Once again building with percussion and string arrangements towards the end of end.
'America' is another foray into up-tempo sea shanty-style folk. A track about setting sail across the sea for America, preparing to journey into the hardships and mysteries of the unknown. "I have seen the Devil cry...I have seen the Devil sin....singing songs of you and I" . Angie's trumpet style almost gives it a Mariachi band feel. It could also be a metaphor for the band's journey in music.
The album closes with the tender, personal and thoughtful stripped piano led title track 'All That We Had, We Stole'. We like the outro with it's lovely string arrangements, soft brass and bird song.
Watch out too for the bonus track. We will let you discover that one for yourselves.