Music Review : Andrew Cresswell Davis *****

There have been other prominent songwriters who have chosen to issue  two releases simultaneously – Bruce Springsteen and Tom Waits spring to mind – and now we can add to their esteemed ranks Andrew Cresswell Davis, better known by many as Andy Davis of Stackridge and The Korgis. Both new releases feature a blend of new and re-recorded songs, with ‘Desire Lines’ taking a more acoustic route whilst ”Emergency Love’ opts for an augmented sound including guest guitarists Andy Latimer and B J Cole.  On both sets Andrew is ably supported by the lovely Clare Lindley (Stackridge/DLM), Brian Mullan (DLM) and Eddie John (Stackridge), with Clare also taking lead vocals on two tracks on ‘Desire Lines’.  Those familiar with Andy’s work will recognise three tracks (including a sublime reworking of ‘Baby Good For You’) from his 1994 ‘Andy Davis Band’ album plus one from Stackridge’s ‘Sex And Flags’ – ‘Dirty Nightingale’ – and a new recording of ‘All I Do Is Dream Of You’, which has featured in the live sets of both Stackridge and DLM for some while now. But the real gems on these two excellent albums are the two tracks written by Andy and co-producer Pete Brandt – ‘The Airs of Selivoe’ from ‘Desire Lines’ and ‘The Ghost Of Love’ from ‘Emergency Love’, which blend melody and musicianship in plaintive perfection. So which of the two would I recommend most? I wouldn’t; you need to have them both, to benefit from the full range of material from this classy songwriter and performer. Stackridge may be on the verge of final retirement, with further recorded material from them now highly unlikely, but these two releases are worthy additions to the collection of anyone ever touched by the outpourings of Bristol’s finest.

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