Mr. Alec Bowman_Clarke “A Place Like Home”

Corduroy Punk Records, 2021

Poetic musings for an age of isolation.

Art work for Mr Alec Bowman-Clarke, "A Place Like Home"A beginning, an end. The click and whirl of a tape machine starting to revolve signify the former whilst the powering down of the same machine signify the latter on the opening track, ‘Deleted Scenes’ to Bowman_Clarke’s new EP. An exploration of the search for meanings follows, making a clarion call for the unseen, the unmeasurable to be given value and worth. The metaphorical imagery of crawling on all fours on the cutting room floor searching for those deleted scenes feels at once comic and tragic; the yearning for something more is almost palpable. Dark thoughts emerge throughout these songs, the type that surface surreptitiously then feed upon themselves creating emotional black holes that consume energy but allow no light to escape. One such thought expressed in, ‘Ghost of Mistakes’ is that we might be leading our lives to, “Feather a nest with everything needed for a comfortable death”. Tentative recompense for such lines of thought is given through the notion of our being able to create new beginnings, albeit riddled with imperfection. “Never say the word gun in the opening line if you don’t mean to fire it by the end”, now these are words inclined to create anticipation in the listener; check out the rest of ‘Speaking Guns’ to discover the denouement. This song is a wry reflection on the nature of the role a lyricist/artist plays in creating his or her own work and provides an insight into the creative process and the doubts that ensue. ‘Red Light in a Darkroom’ is full of visual references, not least that of a mirror that remembers everything you do; here meanings may be lurking in both the light and shade of our days. Concluding the cycle of songs is, ‘A Place Like Home’ with its sense of alienation, and the desperate nature of: “Strangers ‘likes’ on social media making some things OK”.

Carefully produced by Josienne Clarke to preserve an unpolished sound that reflects the raw spirit of the songs, Bowman-Clarke’s gravelly vocals seem aptly suited. Josienne also features on backing vocals, leavening the gravelly tones as well as playing judiciously placed saxophone and clarinet, giving a slightly eerie sense of alienation. Bowman_Clarke’s creativity is highly individualistic but it is through his particularity that the universal is expressed, surely the mark of any successful artist.


About Richard Phillips 62 Articles
From the leaden skies of Manchester to the sunny uplands of Cheshire, my quest is for authentic Americana. Love live music, my acoustic guitar and miss my baby (grand piano).
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