There's something of autumn about Michael Head's last album, Adios Senor Pussycat, recorded by the man himself and his Red Elastic Band- that scouse mysticism and the playing (acoustic guitars, trumpet, piano, slightly psychedelic folk). It's three years now since it came out and it's one of the few more trad guitar albums from recent years that I can still go back to and find fresh. The opening song is called Picasso and like many great album openers starts with found sounds, street noises, seagulls and muffled voices, before the band kick in with a folky rhythm, a saw and little flourishes of guitar. Mick's voice and lyrics have that quality of hard won wisdom, 'It's not like it in the movies/ there may be police involved', life experience coupled with poetic turns of phrase.
I lived in Liverpool for three years as a student, 1988- 1991, and although this song was three decades away then and Mick had a whole stretch of legendary albums and bad luck to go through in the time between, when I hear Picasso it always makes me think of Sefton Park in the autumn, leaves a riot of rust and red, waiting for the bus on Smithdown Road, record and clothes shopping down Bold Street. Weird how a song can do that, play time travel tricks on the mind.