Diana Rogerson and Andrew Liles – No Birds Do Sing
Okay, here’s the deal. The legendary Diana Rogerson (of whom I know little outside of hearing the odd Fistfuck or Nurse with Wound track) records some vocals in Preston. She breathes, wails, moans and screeches over an ever-changing sonic backdrop provided by sometime Faust collaborator Andrew Liles. The results are an acerbic collection of tracks called No Birds Do Sing. (Which surely can’t be a retort to Mr Lennon? Who knows?). Sometimes extremely menacing, sometimes, (surprisingly), very accessible, at other times downright comic, I can confidently predict this LP will not be everybody’s cup of tea.
But hell, if you feel comfortable with the opening strangeness (and screechings) of Should the Prayer Wheel Turn, then you’ll find it’s a bloody exciting listen, even if it’s not always “pleasurable”. The high point for me comes with the one-two of Ever Afflicted With?, which has a classic groove (dictated by with various Middle East “influences”) and the brilliant, visceral, tribal Ki Denga Popo, which is truly off its head - what with the addition of (I think) a crying baby vocal.
Strangely enough, even though it can be a demanding listen I find I’m enervated once I get to the last track, My Secret Ways.
Not for the fainthearted, but worth the ride.
Words: Richard Foster