No resistance to R – A – V – E – N – S… Raven’s Croft!

CD Cover Master Final Flat small_smallerAs we’re so close now to release you’re probably asking yourself, “But what IS the running order?” And, even if this thought was far, far away from your mind, we’re going to tell you.

1) Raven’s Croft

2) Dancing In The Damage

3) Will You Still?

4) Firework Show

5) Introducing The Band

6) 20,000 Years

7) The Futures Never Know

8) Photographs

9) The Fortune Teller

10) Just Drive

11) As All Days Must

The picture, by the way, is the cover, co-designed with designer Pete Brooks. And let me tell you, Pete would be beavering away on the rest of the CD layout were he not navigating his narrow boat up and down the canals and rivers of England for a month… The painting is by my Dad, John Malcolm Williams, who sadly passed away in 1999. Adding the raven felt like scrawling on his work.

Finally for today, the album blurb:

Imagine if Mott The Hoople and The Clash got together to make a folk album with Dylan and The Pogues. Sounds messy? Sounds GREAT!

Raven’s Croft marks a move from the electronic to a more organic sound for that most English of bands, The Television Of Cruelty. The album was conceived as a “back to basics” project, with emphasis on “real” instruments and a more collaborative approach. Some of the planned folky touches were lost in the making (although a specially purchased melodica makes an appearance at the end of The Fortune Teller) but the synths were kept to a minimum and the drums are definitely real, thanks to remarkable work by Dave Shaw! Jenny Williams adds beautiful backing vocals (and some much-needed glamour) and bass duties are capably handled by Graham Hills and Dave Saunders. Ian Williams plays and sings everything else, possibly because no-one could stop him.

Thematically, the songs speak of loss and endings, but also of the joy of music and of life itself. Ian’s long-time collaborator, lyricist John Bingham, suffered bereavement during the writing of the album, as did Ian himself, so it’s not surpising that these profound experiences are reflected in the words.

The music here displays Ian’s usual eclectic mix of influences. The album starts with the “Spector Does Hoople” title track, Raven’s Croft, then crashes through the punky reggae stylings of Dancing In The Damage before winding erratically through Indie Pop, Disco and Americana to finally settle gently to a folky conclusion. The final track, As All Days Must, was written for the Worcester Ukelele Club, who perform it here with great gusto.

The album was recorded at Abbey View and Little Monkey Studios, Cheltenham. It was mixed and co-produced by Ian Williams and Dave Saunders for Mrs Poverty Productions.

All together now, R – A – V – E – N – S… Raven’s Croft! In Him we trust!

Night night.

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