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Marc Gallagher - Songs From A Sh*t Summer

We met Marc for the first time at GNUF17, and watched him put on a polished performance there. To look at him, he's very unassuming, almost fading into the background, you really wouldn't expect such an accomplished set of songs if first impressions are anything to go on.

Marc is a sound engineer, and this comes across with a pretty flawless recording, all the more important when you realise the whole album is simply vocals and a solo ukulele. There's no multitracking evident here, it's like a well recorded live performance. Top marks there.

The album opens with "One Foot In Front Of The Other" a song about an artist trying to move forward in his musical career. "Sexy Butt" ups the mood a bit, with a kind of southern blues rhythm - you have to read the sleeve notes to work out what (and who) it's about, that's a surprise!

"Pastures New" works for me musically, it's got a bit of a shouty punk vibe. But, again, it shows Marc's versatility. Marc says that it follows the same musical progression as "Minnie The Moocher", I can hear that, it shows what you can do!

My favourite is "Perfect Guy At The Wrong Time" - I just love the tempo and the use of the soundboard as a background drum.

Tha album artwork is pretty clever. Reminds me of a photographic project I did once - "lock yourself in the bathroom and take 100 different pictures", they said. Each song has a little explanation in the notes and invites you into Marc's mind and life.

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More songs about broken romances and young angst, but don't let that put you off, the ukulele has a lovely ring, all of these original songs are catchy and well constructed. Marc is a master of rhythmic strumming, many different styles are demonstrated and prove what I say to people about the ukulele - when the rhythm is picked up well, the percussive nature of the uke adds so much.

I'm not honestly sure about the album title, and have told Marc so, but having listened to it now, I can see where he's coming from. I just really hope for Marc that his next album might be called something like "Songs From A Really Fantastic Summer". Go to www.marcgallaghermusic.com to find out more.

11 tracks, 32 minutes.

1. One Foot In Front Of The Other
2. Sexy Butt
3. Down The Toilet
4. Since You Been Gone
5. I Never Knew You Had A Boyfriend
6. Pastures New
7. Perfect Guy At The Wrong Time
8. Dear John Letter
9. I Give Up
10. You Said Goodbye
11. Pretty Young Girl At The Gay Bar

Review - Simon Taylor, 9th July 2017

The toilet illustrations worry me a bit. Do you remember when I fell down the toilet when I was a kitten?