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Dave Eyre of EDS

reviews Looking Both Ways by George Papavgeris

Singer-songwriter George Papavgeris will be familiar to many, and those who have seen him perform at club or festival will be delighted with the chance to purchase another record demonstrating his prolific talents. There seems to be a new CD each year and, consistently, there is a step-change upwards and onwards. If you haven’t seen George perform, then this CD will give you an idea of his musical and literary accomplishments.

His songs undoubtedly scratch the emotions and, in that sense, this record follows a familiar pattern. Shining forth is the great skill of saying so much so quickly. As well as the heart-tugging of ‘Serendipity’ (superb keyboards by Jonny Dyer) there is also the acute observation of an older couple in a café in the song ‘Love of a Sort’. How violence begets violence, and how the cycle develops in wartime, but also perhaps in peacetime, is told in the song ‘Thieves of Innocence’. The figure of Janus dominates the cover of the CD, and here is a clue to the appeal of the material. The perspective offered is one where the songs he makes are personal to him, and at the same time they are personal to you, and this shines through the record like a golden sunset through a window.

There are plenty of instruments used sparingly in the accompaniments, and George’s own guitar playing deserves a mention too. Special credit goes to Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer (Los Marbles) and to the additional vocals of the Tindall family. A couple of the songs have a distinctive eastern shape and sound and at least one has a very unusual time signature. When you feel the need to get up and dance along, it’s that one!! Finally and as ever, quality recording and presentation from the Wildgoose label.