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Thursday 28 September 2023

No One But Me

There's an enormous five disc edition of The Wicker Man out this week, a 50th anniversary celebration of the film. The box contains three versions of the film (Director's Cut, Theatrical Cut and The Final Cut) along with all manner of extras- interviews, trailers, documentaries, commentaries and photographs. There's more info at the BFI shop. The final disc is a CD which has grown from a Katy J Pearson cover of Willow's Song which was on her Sound Of The Morning album. Willow's Song is from the film and supposedly sung by Britt Eckland, played by the band Magnet (Britt apparently struggled to hold a tune even when equipped with a bucket and Willow's Song was actually sung by Rachel Verney. Or possibly Annie Ross). Written by composer Paul Giovanni, Willow's Song is haunted 1973 psychedelic folk, genuinely beautiful, a moment of calm with a darkness residing inside it too. 

Katy J Pearson's cover is psychedelic/ motorik, a krauty four four beat kicking up and echo laden guitar. As well as Willow's Song the box contains several other songs from the film covered by Katy. 

The CD also contains a pair of new versions of Katy's Willow's Song, one a far more folky cover done with alt- folk group Broadside Hacks, the acoustic guitars and folk arrangement transporting it back to Summerisle in 1973 with visions of Edward Woodward, pagan rituals and Britt. 

The other is a seven minute remix by Richard Norris, a slowed down dub folk remix with long trumpet notes and deep bass. Katy's voice eventually glides in on top, floating over the dubness. Richard's recent immersion into dub sounds and production as seen in his new Oracle Sound label, is paying off massively with this remix, a track crying out for a vinyl release. 

Credit where it is due- earlier this week Khayem featured the Richard Norris remix over at Dubhed as part of a 2023 mix he put together, marking the slow fade from summer to autumn. All three versions of Katy J Pearson's cover have the shiver of autumn about them, the dusk falling sooner and the mornings cooler and mistier even if the trees are still full of green leaves. 

Back at the tail end of 2021 Sean Johnston put Hardway Bros aside for a while and released a cover of Willow's Song as The Summerisle Trio, a collective formed with Duncan Gray and singer Sarah Rebecca (later expanded to The Summerisle Six for the This Is Something 12"). Willow's Song was only available as 7" vinyl on Golden Lion Sounds, backed with The Emperor Machine's chunky self explanatory dancefloor monster Dance Your Tit Out. The Summerisle Trio's cover is less folky than Katy's cover, the drum machine and synths casting an electronic shimmer behind the vocal. You can listen to it here


Rol said...

Five discs and they couldn't find room for the Nicolas Cage remake? Oh god! Oh, Jesus Christ!

Anonymous said...

What a film. One of those films that every teenage lad watches. Swc.

Swiss Adam said...

Rol- indeed!
SWC- indeed

thewalker said...

Good reminder to grab that EP, thankyou!

We do need more from The Summerisle Six too.