Behind the majick

The DNA of this album combines two rich strands: a tough alternative rock shell wrapped around a melting heart of bluesy Americana.

Pete Spiby certainly holds these styles close to his core and with the help of – Luke Athiko (Defiled), James Maiden (Future ex Wife), Simon Bismark (Daken), Danni Maibaum (Double NoNo) and a host of drummers: Simon Smith (Wedding Present/Cha Cha Cohen), Tony Arthy (Wonderstuff) and Richie Mills (Cable/Imogen Heap) – he has cooked up a smouldering potion of heartbreaking anthems and bone crunching blues that welcome listeners to sing along anytime, anywhere.

Spiby is probably most well known for being the leader of Black Spiders – renowned for the face melting rock n roll and unmatchable swagger. Groop Dogdrill were pure, uncut, weapons grade alt.rock napalm and Future eX Wife lovingly crushed anyone and anything in their path. His quality control dial has always been set to 10. With a music history so rich, surely he has a gold house with a gold Rolls Royce parked outside?

This new project is his first solo record proper – taking on the roles of producer, writer and arranger. ‘Failed Magician’ is the album and it’s a double disc – though Pledgers will receive a ‘triple’ with a bonus album of carefully selected cover versions, crafted in a style to suit the mood of the original music written for the record.

The album carries the weight, the emotional gravity of Spiby’s haunting blues sung, in contrast, somewhat angelically at times. Are there good times or bad ahead, have the storms been weathered and the sun shining through – or are they approaching, with the barroom shutters being nailed down and the regulars settling in to ride them out?

There’s always a lot to be said for something made with authenticity and righteousness, no pretence, and as ever Spiby isn’t trying for a single second to fit in. Given the scope of this first solo outing it’s clear his instincts are as ‘on the moneys’ as they’ve ever been.

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