Various Artists


The North Sea ScrollsFantastic Plastic****

When the “various artists” include Luke Haines (British outsider anti-pop star and melodic genius par excellence, formerly of The Auteurs and Black Box Recorder) and Cathal Coughlan (Irish maverick extraordinaire, formerly of Microdisney and Fatima Mansions), then you know that a larks-fuelled game is afoot. This ensemble project, however, is not so much a song suite as a conceptual album and academic lecture.

Cheekily conceived as a (counterfactual) record of a parallel history of England (which, following the second World War, has been invaded by the Irish and governed by the fascist Oswald Mosely). The plotlines feature a diverse array of characters , including Tim Hardin, while the tunes ring with equal parts melodic seriousness and glee. One for connoisseurs.

Download:Witches in the Water, Tim Hardin MP