Gordon Grahame AKA Lucky Jim has released over 10 albums
Born in Edinburgh , Scotland he has played with such acts as Jeff Buckley , Texas , Ocean Colour Scene , The Happy Mondays , Pete Murray , Rocco Deluca , Joy Zipper and has played Glastonbury ,...
Gordon Grahame AKA Lucky Jim has released over 10 albums
Born in Edinburgh , Scotland he has played with such acts as Jeff Buckley , Texas , Ocean Colour Scene , The Happy Mondays , Pete Murray , Rocco Deluca , Joy Zipper and has played Glastonbury , The Fleade and T in The Park He has gone to number one twice in the UK itunes folk charts .He is most widely known in the U.K. for the track " You're Lovely To Me " which was used in the Kingsmill Bread adverts and has fan bases in Germany , Holland , Greece and Israel
Now based in London , England he is currently working on a new album for release in early 2009
He will be touring Europe in early 2009 as a duo with Sandy Watson from Glasgow and also as a band with members of Turin Breaks
Lucky Jim - Our Troubles End tonight by Music OMH Sporting a name straight from a classic Kingsley Amis novel, Brighton-based Lucky Jim are already making waves far beyond the seaside city. Their debut single You Stole My Heart Away was warmly...
Lucky Jim - Our Troubles End Tonight by BBC Album Review by Nickie Latham10 May 2007What’s the most regrettable fate that can befall a band? Selling out or selling nowt? Picture the scene - a group of fatcat suits fling coins at the nation’s revered...
Lucky Jim - Our Troubles End tonight by Music OMH
Sporting a name straight from a classic Kingsley Amis novel, Brighton-based Lucky Jim are already making waves far beyond the seaside city. Their debut single You Stole My Heart Away was warmly received by muso-insiders on its release last month while the album looks like making just as big a splash.
In Our Troubles End Tonight, Edinburgh-born Gordon Grahame and native Brightonian Ben Townsend have produced an effortlessly elegant collection of unaffected songs filled with heart-stopping chord structures and achingly wry melodies - vintage guitar songwriting to its core.
They wear their hearts on their sleeves and so too their musical influences. From beginning to end, elements reminiscent of Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Nick Cave, Lee Hazlewood and even The Tindersticks crackle through, but never overpower. Also evident are echoes of Grahame's former group The Lost Soul Band.
Opening track You Stole My Heart Away is assuredly upbeat, reverberating with bass, skiffling drums, piano and heartfelt melodies while Doors-esque swirling Hammonds complete the picture. You're Lovely to Me bristles with simile and metaphor, such as, "You're the elusive chord on my old guitar," or "you glitter like sand that runs through my hand", which in a different songwriter's hand could sound awkward or even contrived, but here fit the song like a glove.
With songs chronicling love, life, loss and longing it would be easy to lump Lucky Jim with the current crop of alt-country or self-defeating Brit drabness, but that would be missing the point. For each melancholic moment there are those of strength, celebration and a hazy, if warped, optimism. This can be seen in Honeymooners, with Heather Banks, a colossal clash of guitar, Hispanic-sounding medleys and chords, and haunting vocals that are less sung than softly spoken.
At times, such as in Lesbia, Grahame's rich, grainy voice can sound a little too knowing, too smug, and the pair sometimes struggle to maintain momentum over the course of the whole album, but these are minor quibbles over an otherwise beautifully crafted album.
Little wonder then, that Skint Records, home of Big Beat veterans Fatboy Slim and the Midfield General, pulled out all the stops - and the plug - to sign them from Red Records, which had been formed by a design company purely to release the album independently last year. Says Skint's Damian Harris: "We heard the album, fell in love with it, couldn't stop playing it, then started to get evangelical about it.
It seems certain plenty of people out there will think the same - in an ego-driven music world of overproduction and tricky effects for the sake of it, pared-down Lucky Jim are a breath of fresh seaside air. A modern classic like their literary namesake? No, but an enduring album nonetheless.
- Catherine Turner
Lucky Jim - Our Troubles End Tonight by BBC Album Review by Nickie Latham
10 May 2007
What’s the most regrettable fate that can befall a band? Selling out or selling nowt? Picture the scene - a group of fatcat suits fling coins at the nation’s revered troubadours, shouting 'Dance monkeys dance! That we may sell more reconstituted meat products/hairnets/toilet brushes!' This is not good. However, now picture another scene - your very favourite album lies alone and unloved in an abandoned store-room, the tracks of its tears creating furrows in its accumulated surface dust as it awaits deletion.
A sobering thought, I know you’ll agree, and the fate that appeared to have been marked out for Lucky Jim’s 2004 release Our Troubles End Tonight - despite widespread critical acclaim - before the single “You’re Lovely To Me” was picked up and dusted off by a certain chain of breadmakers, leading to the re-packaging of the album.
For those who missed it first time round, Our Troubles... arguably makes even more sense in the current musical climate than it did on first release. Most bizarre of all, is that the single that’s revived it is, in fact, one of the weakest songs on the album. It’s a pleasant enough, Dylanesque saunter through a sentiment that James Blunt has built a career on, which barely hints at what Gordon Grahame is capable of.
The album’s real strength is found in the arrangements which create an otherworldly quality that is particularly obvious in the title track. Here, soft, sombre synths create a rich psychedelic backdrop to Grahame’s breathy vocal. Elsewhere, on “Leah”, a swirling organ waltz vibrates warmly with a touch of the Scott Walkers as Grahame laments, “Children are wishes that never come true. Even the least of them come to leave you.”
This is an album which doesn’t try to hide its influences and, though mannered in places, it offers enough invention to avoid pastiche. In “The Honeymooners”, a moody duet with Heather Banks, the ghost of Lee Hazelwood lingers behind the lines, but doesn’t undermine it. For this song alone, we should be glad that our commercial overlords gave Lucky Jim another chance to sing in our ears and make some
Uncut Album Review by Uncut
A two-piece (Scottish lad Gordon Graham and Brighton boy Ben Townsend), Lucky Jim draw on all the necessary and obvious references (Dylan, Gene Clark, Gram). But this collection of border skirmishes is surprisingly effective thanks to a neat line in bruised acoustic melancholia and Gordon's prairie-dog growl. "You're Lovely To Me" is all mandolin, strings and dusty melodies blown in from the desert. "Almeria", a nod of the Stetson to the Spanish city where Leone shot his Dollars trilogy, possesses a ragged, loping gait; a Morricone mooch. "The Honeymooners" sounds like Gainsbourg's "Bonnie & Clyde" for the E generation, while "My Soul Is On Fire" is a fine example of frontier melodrama.
CD times Album Review by CD Times .Now I can't claim to know what Lucky Jim (real name, Gordon Grahame) had in mind when he wrote this track, but I'm willing to bet it wasn't finely sliced bread. Or Lorraine Kelly. I feel somewhat better enabled to appreciate the song without having witnessed it being used in these contexts; and, indeed, listening with an untainted mind, it has just enough rough Dylan-esque charm to take it out of the category "saccharine". (I should admit that on first hearing, I had to check to be sure it wasn't a Dylan cover.)
It's actually a good representation of the album overall: folksy, timeless, romantic. Grahame's always gravely voice makes sure nothing here could be mistaken for James Blunt, although he could occasionally be mistaken for (a decent) Richard Ashcroft. Crucially, these songs sound heartfelt and weary, like they've been lived in; quite the contrast to the majority of dreary singer-songwriter material you'll hear. When he sings "my soul is on fire", it's with authentic yearning. You can imagine him restless and kept awake at night.
Album Lucky Jim by The Independent Newspaper UK This engaging slice of British Americana – if that's not too much of a contradiction in terms – was made by Gordon Grahame and Ben Townsend within months of their first meeting in Brighton, an indication of how naturally their talents have meshed here. It's basically an album of Grahame's love songs, embroidered with arrangements that set his acoustic guitar against Townsend's piano counterpoints and string washes – a series of Dylan-esque warbles of devotion that nod to all manner of singer-songwriter legends but teeter over into exaggerated mannerism on only the title track. With its plangent croon and feverish beat, "Leah" recalls Van Morrison's "The Way Young Lovers Do", while pizzicato strings and Mediterranean guitar lend an intimate, Leonard Cohen mood to "The Honeymooners", an erotic duet between Grahame and Heather Banks, in which the latter urges, "Come and rest between my thighs/ The hungry days of reason, they have fed you full of lies." Throughout, Grahame displays a neat, o
This engaging slice of British Americana – if that's not too much of a contradiction in terms – was made by Gordon Grahame and Ben Townsend within months of their first meeting in Brighton, an indication of how naturally their talents have meshed here. It's basically an album of Grahame's love songs, embroidered with arrangements that set his acoustic guitar against Townsend's piano counterpoints and string washes – a series of Dylan-esque warbles of devotion that nod to all manner of singer-songwriter legends but teeter over into exaggerated mannerism on only the title track. With its plangent croon and feverish beat, "Leah" recalls Van Morrison's "The Way Young Lovers Do", while pizzicato strings and Mediterranean guitar lend an intimate, Leonard Cohen mood to "The Honeymooners", an erotic duet between Grahame and Heather Banks, in which the latter urges, "Come and rest between my thighs/ The hungry days of reason, they have fed you full of lies." Throughout, Grahame displays a neat, original turn of phrase – "Been out on the road with a craving for tar" – and the ability to turn clichés on their head, as in: "One and one is one, not two." But there are discrepancies in some of the arrangements: the sloppily strummed guitar of "Leah" works against the neat, light Brubeck beat; on "Lesbia", the prissy piano sounds out of place. Both tracks would be improved by sparer settings that played to the songs' strengths – as on the lovely "Westwards We're Headed", in which two Spanish guitars and a
KINDA MUSIC REVIEW by KINDA MUSIC Lucky Jim is een Brits duo, geleid door zanger/gitarist Gordon Graham en verder bestaande uit drummer Ben Townsend. De band (vermoedelijk vernoemd naar het gelijknamige boek van Kingsley Amis uit 1954) maakte in 2004 de door slechts een enkeling opgemerkte prachtplaat Our Troubles End Tonight. Die wordt nu gevolgd door All the King's Horses, eveneens een parel voor de zwijnen die zwelgen in gedragen, zorgvuldig gearrangeerde liedjes.
Productietechnisch is een flinke stap voorwaarts gezet, want het album klinkt voller, rijper dan het debuut. Gebleven zijn de weemoedige teksten over onder meer teloor gegane liefde ('Love's Sweet Song'), onbereikbare liefde ('Let It Come Down') en, de ergste van allemaal, liefde die niet beantwoord wordt ('I Want You').
Het debuut moest het vooral hebben van de kale song. De begeleiding bestond vaak uit niet meer dan een akoestische gitaar en drums. In de nieuwe liedjes vervult de akoestische gitaar nog altijd een hoofdrol, maar daar voegen elektrische gitaar, akoestische bas, en vooral piano en strijkers uit een doosje het nodige aan toe. Daarbij wordt de emotie niet geschuwd. Theatraal laat Graham tegen het einde van 'Love's Sweet Song' zijn stem overslaan, waarna het met een bombastische synthesizerpartij helemaal dweilen met de kraan open is.
Lucky Jim zet op All the King's Horses hoog in, maar is zich dat bewust. Een songtitel als 'Don Quixote' laat daar geen twijfel over bestaan. Dat voorkomt dat een pretentieuze plaat als deze topzwaar wordt. All the King’s Horses (voor minder doet Graham het niet) is daarmee een gedurfd werkstuk, dat vele luisterbeurten rechtvaardigt en vervolgens fier overeind blijft. Grote klasse.
Soundmag.de review by Soundmag.de Es gibt ja nur wenige deutsche Wörter, die im englischsprachigen Ausland Verwendung finden. Andersherum sieht das natürlich ganz anders aus. Aber immer dann, wenn sich ein Ausdruck einer adäquaten Übertragung widersetzt, etabliert sich unser Original über kurz oder lang – so geschehen bei „Weltanschauung“, „Gedankenexperiment“, Reinheitsgebot“(!) und „Schadenfreude“(!!).
Dieser Umstand ermöglicht es mir, das zweite Album des Brightoner Duos mit zwei herrlich poetisch klingenden deutschen Wörtern zu beschreiben, die auch die beiden Jungs verstehen werden: forget the zeitgeist, bring on the weltschmerz. Völlig unabhängig vom Zwang, sich am aktuellen Erfolgssound zu orientieren, legen sie elf wunderbare Songs vor, auf die wohl auch Bob Dylan und Tom Petty stolz wären (stimmlich bewegt sich Graham Greene übrigens ziemlich genau zwischen den beiden Althelden).
Auf Albumlänge erschlägt der Schwermut den Hörer fast und es beschleicht einen das Gefühl, diese Platte könnte kraft ihrer Melancholie alleine den Winter einleiten, wenn er denn nicht schon da wäre. Und trotzdem drückt man noch mal Repeat. Weil es so schön war. Almost an „über“-record.