Paddy Steer – Dragon’s Breath
Okay, let’s get this straight. This dude, Paddy Steer, has sat around in Levenshulme for nigh on 20 years and amalgamated a set of wibbling, erratic, incidental chamber music that occasionally infuriates and sometimes charms birds from trees.
And what, pray, is it about this type of reflective instrumental that inspires such bizarre titles? Earlier Potato, At Badger’s North and Cuckoo Feeder Waste Pallet are the most noticeable. As I said, the music presents moments of beauty, and Street Dreams is one-such; a floating Hawaiian interlude given considerable charm by the interplay of lap steel and female vocal. Actually, when Steer gets his ukulele or lap steel out, you hear the best of him, check out the lovely, hesitant Earlier Potato or the cocktail on the beach-isms of At Badger’s North.
I think it’s fair to say the lad has a crush on Moondog’s oeuvre as with tracks like Dragon’s Breath or Wet Day the sheer strangeness of the music comes close to Moondog’s otherworldly vibe. At times (A. Welson Senior, Pulsator Organorum) the sound gets damned close to the sci-fi incidentalisms of the Studio G recordings, at other times (The Blob) one thinks of the anarchy and lo-fi disco of Pumpf records.
There are lots of noises coming from instruments or “things” not worth identifying, suffice to say there are lots of blurbs, burps and wibbles. Somehow this all fits together very impressively, and the 20 tracks don’t hang around in an annoying way (which they bloody well could, believe me).
An unlikely triumph.