Like imagining Charlie Chaplin with the voice of Freddie Mercury! Glastonbury Fringe Festival
Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * * *
Theatre is as much about experimental as it is the reliance on the original and the long standing, the deep rooted and the childhood memories of how fresh the mature and seasoned felt when you first experienced it. It is the playful and the daring to look behind the curtain, the realisation that Dorothy Gale was wrong, there was no conjurer and purveyor of cheap illusion hiding in Oz, it was magic all along and magic that drives the sensational and theatrical to unveil its Hidden Gems.
The Adventures of Captain of the Lost Waves’ Hidden Gems are to be treasured, the theatrical encounter upon first entering a strange world, a land of emeralds encased in diamond and preserved in amber, the reflection dazzling but sincere and the face in the mirror only able to speak truth, that the crew of this particular ship are sailing into uncharted waters with faith in abundance and the satisfied looks of those cheering them deep in their hearts.
With guests on the album such as Liz Shaw on dancing terpsichorean trumpets, Pete Earnshaw on percussion and Emily Ingham on violin, Murray Grainger, Tony Taffinder and Dave Bowie Jnr. ride the crest of the wave into a strange land where the theatrical reigns supreme and the curtain is raised, the illusion made real and lost and lonely gather round in comfort and enjoyment.
Hidden Gems, an album of brightness shrouded in mystery and intrigue, of ancient tongues delivering a beautiful sermon and where the dance is expected to be joined in full; this dance, a widdershins jig, a movement of souls colliding, is brave, well thought out and easy to love.
In tracks such as Another Planet, the fantastic and heart thumping Danger, Fat Freddy’s Fingers, Mr Many Men and Don’t Miss What’s Right In Front Of You, The Adventures of Captain of the Lost Waves puts on a show that rivals the star attraction in the theatre, one that is emblazed in lights and the dramatic and yet never once strays into the artificial or the dismally unbalanced realm of the pretentious; this is where the curtain is pulled back and what is really driving Oz is Dorothy’s soul, Ozma’s pragmatism and the Wizard’s glee.
A fantastic album, utterly brimming with desire, Hidden Gems is revealed and passionate, a master class of imaginative album recording.
Ian D. Hall
Captain of the Lost Waves – Hidden Gems Chapter 1 REVIEW (pre release album Ltd Edition available from 19th Nov)
“Are we in kansas?”
For a Pasolini on a ukulele an album is far too small a format. For the captain- a man with Busby Berkley scale ideas this collection of music seems more of an entire evening than an album. Its more of a fantastic voyage around imaginary volcanic islands than a normal, run of the mill EP.
Its musical peyote or whatever Lewis Carol was on. Hallucinatory audio theatre.
Choruses of drunken sailors, East German mandolin worriers, Bavarian bouzouki fondlers and well chaperoned sheep- they’re all here. Music buffs and scholars of the Bauhaus will also no doubt enjoy a rare use of snoring at a certain interval in the voyage/evening.
The songs are built upon sophisticated arrangements that would collapse under their own weight if it wasn’t for the technically flawless almost invisible production and delicious musicianship that runs throughout.
I think its VERY English but an Hawaiian might insist it has a definite touch of the palm tree/pineapple about it and claim it for themselves!
The quality of the songsmithing and a certain ‘kindness’- a tender sensitivity means the potential audience demographic is Beatle-esque.
Post modern folk music free to borrow from any stringed, sail or wind powered instrument ends up demonstrating the links and similarities between the different branches of international ‘traditional’ music.
Impish Hungarian tunes sashay around the room on the arms of Irish fiddle melodies whilst Otto Dix’s piano player adds a soupy, mockingly jovial circus rhythm which is far too melancholy to actually dance to but we dance nonetheless. Its hard not to sway when the ground is moving.
I cant single out a favourite track anymore than I could chose between the ghosts of past faithful sheepdogs. Its impossible. I’ve hummed all their choruses at various points during the last week – in showers, whilst watching a cauliflower cheese pirouette in a microwave and on the M1. I’m humming now whilst I write.
What a world we live in in which there are people who can do things like this?
I am extremely fortunate to have heard this music before its official public release. You know that feeling when you’ve managed to buy someone you love the most amazing present but you have to wait till their birthday? And you smile because you know what joy is instore for them? You know whats coming? And they don’t? That’s how I feel.
This record/evening is special and contains melodies that will get under your skin and haunt you like a weathered tattoo of your favourite dead sheepdog’s name.
B. Longpencil 2016, Gigwise
And so he arrived, the enigmatic Captain, armed just with a wireless headset mic and a Bouzouki/Ukulele under his arm. What was to follow was a promenade performance, the likes of which I can find no equal or comparison. To experience a COTLW performance is to find yourself in Alice’s pocket. A glorious journey through a wonderland of mischief, sonic majesty and fearless exploration. Captivating the audience in the most unique of fashions, the nearest I can get to a description is cross between a minstrel and a bard. His skills are so complex and rare yet ultimately universal., hence they are impossible to describe in the limited expression of language. Huge charisma and had the audience of around 250 people in the palm of his hand, this performance was undoubtedly the highlight of the festival for me and many more!
ASYLUM FESTIVAL, LINCOLN – audience reaction reviews 2016
What a superb night of quality songwriting and performances.
Wow I have honestly just been blown away by Captain of the Lost Waves
What an incredibly unique act he has developed, such an important key part of this experience. The set tonight transported me to another world, a world of vaudeville, variety and steampunk. Joy, reflection and hilarity; sing a long melodies, and soaring falsettos with allusive and sometimes whimsical messages.
He is a master at genuinely involving the audience and seamlessly moved between us all, playing his bouzouki or ukulele (exceptionally) and occasionally stopping mid-song to reflect and say something tangential and hilarious or thought-provoking or both. His image makes me think of steampunk – top hat and tails, with combat boots and a purple ribbon on his arm and red kerchief around his neck.. The songwriting is awe-inspiring – his melodies grab you instantly and we all sing along effortlessly. The chord changes point to a deeper darker underbelly but he skirts away from darkness deftly and beautifully.
I am inspired and very very impressed. Some performers make you feel uplifted and energised when you see them and have that special gift. I feel like I have witnessed something very special tonight. Thank you David Robertson-Brown for another spectacular Acoustic North Evening at Glyde House, with Captain of the Lost Waves – Tues 28th June
Donna Marie Bottomley Glyde House Reviewer
**** “I don’t think I’m made of that stuff,” laments the singer-songwriter styled only as the Captain. The doubt’s right there, in the lyrics of one of his beautifully heartfelt songs – yet if “that stuff” is talent, then the man we see in front of us clearly exudes it from every pore. Let’s be clear about one thing first: The Captain really can sing. I don’t just mean he can sing in Fringe terms – I mean he has a voice you might hear on a West End stage, or here in Edinburgh at a recital in the Usher Hall. **** RICHARD STAMP, FRINGE GURU (Edinburgh Fringe Festival)
***** ‘Now this was a curio of time-travel theater. His Good Ship has landed at Space Triplex for a short run and yesterday I was called to witness his melody, muse and weirdness. Fifty minutes of nautical mysticism brought to life with a genuine apparition of a Spirit Galleon’ ***** MARK ‘DIVINE’ CALVERT, MUMBLE CIRQUE (Edinburgh Fringe Festival ).
***** ‘The Captain knows how to keep an audience engaged. Not only through his songs (one of the best singers I`ve seen); the audience participation who gets to be part of the show and the chorus (I was lucky enough to get a kazoo); his stories from a rather heavy book from which he kept tearing pages for our amusement’.
‘Favourite show in the Fringe this year. Fun songs for people of any age and all the family that will make you smile. A great whimsical character and an hour isn’t long enough! I recommend it to everyone!’
‘An incredibly funny and charismatic talented man ‘
‘What splendid deliverance of an outstanding performance! 5* Become immersed in the captains adventures through time and space, through heart felt storytelling and deep and meaningful songs, that will have you singing and tapping along in minutes, in this unique and unusual show ‘
‘ No fanfare, no announcement, no “make some noise” for the Captain. He’s there waiting in the dark with us and he calmly steps forward when his audience is settled. He gives us a brief introduction about his cosmic journey and begins the first of 7 beautifully crafted songs, all of which you are encouraged to sing along with. It’s ok, you will feel compelled and unabashed.His stage persona suggests we accept him and his stories at face value. Tales of musical collaborations with Edith Piaf and Captain Rickard are mesmerising. As the audience accepts his word we believe his tales from outer space about meetings with names we have never heard’ ***** EDFRINGE.COM
The Captain is not just the finest of singers & musicians ( a voice of such operatic sonorous beauty & effortless volume,coupled with a diction which equates & deviates as imagining Buckley, Sinatra, Ferry & Bush in a rotating barbershop quartet.
That it is both frighteningly life affirming & emotively solar plexus punching in a raw unamplified state,has one questioning if their ears are believing what is being heard?
Capable of veering between heartfelt & vaudevillian with a comedic timing only afforded to a chosen few.
Possessing a gift for creating songs of such nuance,depth, complexity & melody,though shot through with the most translucent simplicity & integrity which instantly arrest your heart & mind.
He is poet, comedian & storyteller all in equal measure. To see it is to believe it.
To not see it is to try only imagine it” The Printers Playhouse, Eastbourne – audience reviews and reactions
Mrs Yarringtons is overjoyed with pleasure to announce the return of The Captain. For those who have seen him at Mrs Y’s or last years The Big Green Cardigan he needs no introduction. For those who haven’t how to describe it? as one reviewer said, ‘Watching a ‘Captain Of The Lost Waves’ performance is like trying to describe the colour number nine’ and I think that says it all. Deliciously bonkers, eccentric and impossible to categorize.Through operatic scales to eerie chorale voices, hypnotic rhythm’s to confessional and emotive lyrics and haunting melodies we ultimately come to the conclusion that the Captain is a man not content to sit still as he travels musically, physically and mentally, ultimately avoiding destination drudgery. Were he not one of the great contemporary lyricists he would no doubt be hailed as one of the great modern poets or thinkers of our time.
This really is one not to miss.
‘From the greatest show on Earth some of the greatest stories never told…..’MRS YARRINGTONS MUSIC CLUB, BATTLE/THE BIG GREEN CARDIGAN FESTIVAL, SUSSEX
Simply the most unique and inclusive of performers. To witness his craft, particularly in a live setting, where each new expression for each new audience seems to be executed right there on the spot, in a truly intuitive sense. An exemplary vocalist and musician, storyteller, poet, philosopher and clown, his is a show which is so bewitching and bemusing it seems the least one can do is to describe it as an accepted form of alchemy. FAT TUESDAY MARDI GRAS FESTIVAL, HASTINGS
One of the greatest songwriters this country has ever produced. JIMMY RICE AUTHOR