London WC2 12-Bar Club

[a]Woodbine[/a] could well be the West Midlands-based collision of the [a]Cocteau Twins[/a] and [B]Love[/B]'s [B]'Forever Changes'[/B] that you always dreamed of...

There’s enigmatic and then there’s [a]Woodbine[/a]. Having accepted an advance from their record label to record their debut album last year, they promptly terrified their patrons by disappearing back to Birmingham. No phone numbers, no forwarding address, they simply vanished.

They’re back now, but only just. For here is a music so frail and spindly that, placed in the context of most modern rock’n’roll, barely exists. Still, the most rewarding experiences in life are always the ones that take a bit of effort and, if you can drown out the whispering around you, [a]Woodbine[/a] could well be the West Midlands-based collision of the [a]Cocteau Twins[/a] and Love‘s ‘Forever Changes’ that you always dreamed of. If indeed your dreams are that vivid.

The constituent parts that make up this musical melie are simple enough: two guitars, a primitive drum machine and, in singer Susan Dillane, a voice of ethereal clarity, not a million miles from |ber-folkie Sandy Denny or kudos-enriched Young Marble Giants singer Alison Statton. The magic comes in the delivery, for while their most beautiful moments – ‘Complete Control’ and ‘I Hope That You Get What You Want’ – are painfully slow, they’re also deliciously detailed slices of contemplative pop.

They take patience, they demand concentration. A classic slow-burner, all told.

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