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THE MISERABLE RICH
Of Flight & Fury
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Chestnut Sunday

Hungover
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Records
04/08
04/10
Of Flight & Fury
07/11 Anything’s Possible
11/11 Miss You In The Days

 
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Of Flight & Fury
 HAZ072

With their layers of delicate, elegant strings and rich vocals you might expect The Miserable Rich to be winking at the sommelier as they win another debate about philosophy to a round of applause. But despite travelling around Europe - playing their own gigs and supporting the likes of Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan - plus staying at home self-producing lush albums in their bedrooms, being a favourite guest of Marc Riley and grabbing iTunes Song Of The Week and 6Music album of the day, they seem to have become mishap magnets - there have been traffic accidents and breakdowns, missed planes and deadlines, though they will be the first to admit that some of this might be self-inflicted, like trying to discuss business agreements while guzzling absinthe backstage at a German festival.

But any bad luck seems short lived. Passports that have been lost between passport control and the aeroplane turn up. Wallets with all the band’s cashflow get found hours later, exactly where they were dropped in the middle of a busy venue. And no one takes the whole tour cash when they leave it on a Berlin hostel’s pool table for several hours.

But ’life happening’ is not necessarily a bad thing for a band who work so much honesty into their songs. Not for The Miserable Rich are lyrics comparing girls to flowers. No, songs like ’For A Day’ struggle with the internal debate of whether to pack yourself off home from a decaying, debauched party or take another pill. Drugs also pop up in the post-cocaine ’Hungover’, at least on one level, speaks for itself. These are songs that have been lived.

Yes, second album ’Of Flight And Fury’ is beyond beautiful but the prettiness hides some murky elements, times The Miserable Rich have certainly lived though.

Not all of the album is about getting hammered though. Named after a Brighton school, ’Somerhill’ tells of the seduction of a yummy mummy which is not quite as quiet and private as it could be. ’Let Me Fade’ - the closest to a traditional break-up song - adds barbershop harmonies to lines that explain how the former object of James’ affection no longer has orgasms. It’s not the sort of story cellos and violins usually provide a score for.

Led by violin and cello, with acoustic guitar and double-bass holding down the rhythm, it would be easy for these Willkommen Collective members to be chin-stroking clever-clogs. Instead, a variety of influences come together to form a swirling, warm, inviting sound that’s rich with feeling. The strings have an indie element from Mike along with a classical influence from Will, while Jim brings classic rock from his Clearlake days. Meanwhile Rhys’s jazz props up the bottom end and James’ vocals have the rawness of his soul upbringing. But this isn’t maths and that equation comes out with something unique. It’s as rooted in late 60s and early 70s widescreen psychedelia musically as it is in the modern world lyrically. If one day someone digs up a lost Love acoustic album they’ll say, “Oh, it sounds like The Miserable Rich.”
 
  LINEUP ON "Of Flight & Fury":

James de Malplaquet - Voc
Will Calderbank - Cello
Mike Siddell - Violin
Lindsey Oliver - Double Bass
Jim Briffet - Guitar

Written & recorded in rented houses near the south coast of England by The Miserable Rich. Mixed & Mastered by Al Scott.

 

 
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