It may be a weird hill to die on but I will risk saying that these days Birmingham scene is one of the most innovative in the country. And I don`t mean The TWANG here, but countless smaller artists and individuals with clear and fresh ideas, who quietly shape the circuit all over the Isles. Harry Lee Jones is a perfect example. Take a singer, a poet, a model and a bit of a Beatnik (yeah, all that) out of Brum and put him in the heart of Merseyside and within few months you will have a new band putting out quality singles and playing residencies at Jacaranda.
You are forgiven if you haven’t heard about Harry Lee Jones before, we folks in West Midlands are routinely ignored anyway. But being off the beaten path gives Brummies an advantage – we must improvise, think outside the box and grab every opportunity we can. In a way this is exactly what Harry did and it paid off. He is now leading psych rock revival in Liverpool and his band is turning heads among reviewers and music fans alike.
Having only two releases so far (“Monolith” from last year and freshly off the press “Winter Rose II”), doesn’t stop Allerton from being compared to the heavyweights of British rock: Kula Shaker, Oasis and The Kinks. On the other hand, similarities to newer acts like The Gulps, The Racket and early King Gizzard are also noted. To me, listening to Allerton is like looking though a kaleidoscope. You may have heard those sounds before, but once the song is on, you discover multiple layers of musical craft and inspirations you wouldn’t find at first hearing.
“Winter Rose II” begins with a long into, but once it breaks into a strong kirtan – style inspired riffs, the song becomes quite hypnotizing. There is something in Harry`s voice that demands that “chant and response” practice of kirtan performance. It may not be religious hymns that are being performed here, but the poetic and quite surreal lyrics do not fall so much from what one may expect from the aesthetics of the practice. George Harrison would approve.
Harry Lee Jones (vocals and rhythm guitar) is not the only masterfully skilled person in Allerton. He is joined by Alex Finney on drums and backing vocals, Craig Pugh on lead guitar and Jack Coggins on bass. Between the four of them there is pure magic or alchemy. Call it what you will, but this band has got this special something that makes me excited for more.
And nobody does psychodelia better than Birmingham based record producer and sound engineer Gavin Monaghan at Magic Garden Studios who worked on the song. “Winter Rose II” was mastered by Paul Morris (of Liverpool band Harks, quite a good one at that, so do check them out).
In total 10/10 from me.
The only bummer is that we need to wait few months for next single to drop. But c`est la vie of a music fan, we just need to be patient.
You can follow Allerton on social media: