03 maggio 2015

Dal caleidoscopico Cuff Clout, splendido album di Kate Westbrook realizzato tra il 1994 e il 2001 con John Winfield e con il corposo sostegno di un gruppo di musicisti denominato per l'occasione The Skirmishers, riaffiora presso Vimeo un videomontaggio di parole e immagini ad accompagnare uno dei brani più incisivi, The Devil and the Canny Lad, scritto da Kate con le musiche di James McMillan. Altre illustri firme nell'album sono quelle di Lindsay Cooper, Barbara Thompson, Jenni Roditi, Eleanor Alberga, Errollyn Wallen, Chris Biscoe e Mike Westbrook.

With Cuff Clout Kate Westbrook presents a new take on the English music hall. The dominant form of popular entertainment throughout the early 20th century, music hall was a loose assemblage of songs and sketches, both comic and serious, spiced with political satire and sexual innuendo. In her neoteric music hall - "a music hall for the 21st century" - Kate brings together the disparate elements of traditional music hall in a thoroughly contemporary context. Her lyrics embrace tragedy and comedy, and range from high art to knock-about. By inviting eight composers from across the whole spectrum of contemporary music to set her texts, Kate has ensured a rich and surprising mix of musical genres. Kate and her accomplice John Winfield produce an astonishing variety of vocal performances and characterisations, sometimes solo, sometimes as a double act, as they move through a sequence of dramatically varied musical settings. Marching under the banner of 'The Skirmishers', the twenty or so performers on the album represent a cross section of the UK's most accomplished and creative musicians - rock, jazz, classical and pop.