Michael Nyman

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Record Collector Xmas 2009 - The Glare - Dave and Mike make beautiful music together

Dec 1st, 2009

To be brutally honest, David McAlmont’s name will only make most music lovers recall his 90’s partnership with then-just-ex-Suede guitarist Bernard Butler. Since then his soundtrack and jazz work has rarely matched the joyous bombast of tracks such as Yes and You Do.

Step forward Michael Nyman, here lending reworked, re-recorded and live versions of tracks you may or may not recognise from films and other similarly-cerebral sources. The premise isn’t madly inviting on paper – McAlmont uses news stories for lyrics: reality TV shows, banking errors, terminal illnesses, refugees – but it works well; really well in places.

Take the Money and Run certainly bounces (employing Nyman’s Seville Fanfare as foundation), and if perfectly mirrors the inspiration for the lyric: a tale of two Kiwis who awaken to find a bank has “gifted” them millions of dollars. You’d be bouncing too.

This bringing to life of stories, both with music and words, turns out to be The Glare’s greatest strength. Slower tracks work less well, the likes of In Laos sounding especially morbid (OK, it’s about an imprisoned pregnant woman), but it still brings home how special McAlmont’s voice is. Just put it in front of the right backing and it will be remembered for decades.

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