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Down There For Dancing

I'm brand new to Richard Lomax and the Tontine, but there was something about this new release that caught my interest. Down There For Dancing is a grin-inducing title and the record itself is a lovely mass of chiming skiffle chords, deadpan Lloyd Cole wordplay and a wispy psychedelic otherness.

‘Jennifer’ cruises by on a wave of echoey yearning before moving into a strident riff-fest that caught me off guard, said hello, then buggered off as all good riffs should. And ‘Vodka Stomach’. Lovely, indefinably weird ‘Vodka Stomach’. It's like Dick Dale waking up, shaking his head clear and finding himself on guitar at an Arctic Monkey's show.

I've played ‘Windmills’ an awful lot. I was first seduced by its Fisher Price keyboards, but stayed around for the off-kilter take on bar stool philosophising. There's also something engagingly odd about the choral vocal ending, seemingly applied with the lightest of brushstrokes but probably created with lots of hard work.

For the sake of a balanced review, both ‘Glamour’ and ‘Set Me Free’ pass through without really disturbing the dust on the furniture and there’s a samey pace at the halfway mark, but there is much to enjoy and even love here. Especially in the superbly measured vocal on ‘Look! Who's Sorry Now?’ and the clever and accomplished ‘Wellness’ with its effortless lyrical metaphors, sustaining a warped internal logic without a bead of sweat on its brow.