A-Z: The Fiery Furnaces – Fi-Lo Beddow

The Fiery Furnaces – Tropical Ice-Land (single)
I love this version of Tropical Ice-Land. It’s all fun and happy.

The Fiery Furnaces – Crystal Clear (promo single)
Remember back when I was talking about the Eastern Lane promo I have? The one I bought at a record fair at the same time as a Fiery Furnaces one, as I’d read good things about them on the Rough Trade website? Well, this is that Fiery Furnaces promo! Unlike the Eastern Lane one that just had the 1 song on it, this one’s got all 3 of the songs from the single on it. This meant I could make a more reasoned judgement on whether I liked the band or not, rather than basing it all on just the 1 song. I liked ‘Crystal Clear’, but it didn’t really stand out to me as particularly special. The same for the first b-side, ‘Cousin Chris’. However it was the third track that really grabbed my attention and convinced me that I needed to check out some more Fiery Furnaces stuff – that third track being the brilliant ‘Smelling Cigarettes’. It’s just over 5 minutes long and changes in style a few times throughout the duration of the song, which I love! When I then bought ‘Gallowsbird’s Bark’ I was hoping it would have more songs along the lines of ‘Smelling Cigarettes’ on it, so was initially disappointed when the songs reminded me more of ‘Crystal Clear’. However they did grow on me and I’ve listened to that album quite a lot. When ‘Blueberry Boat’ was then released, however, I was pleasantly surprised to discover it was much more along the lines of ‘Smelling Cigarettes’ – there are style changes all over the place in the middle of songs and it’s a really strange and interesting album. The first time I listened to it I was lying in bed and playing it on a portable CD-player with headphones plugged in. Music generally sounds better on headphones where you can get the full-effect of the stereo, so listening to that album for the first time was a really amazing experience. Strangely I haven’t listened to it as much since then as I have to ‘Gallowsbird’s Bark’ – maybe because it’s an album you do really need to sit quietly and listen to to fully appreciate it – I don’t know. Anyway, I should really get some more of their albums as I’ve gotten quite behind now – they’re really prolific with the album releasing!

I should mention at this point that I’m slightly regretting my decision to have a glass of red wine before having dinner! It’s very nice an’ all, but wine has a tendency to go straight to my head, so my typing’s going slightly to pot. I’m having to type everything about 3 times to get it right! I should probably get some food soon. First though…

The Fiery Furnaces – Single Again (single)
Ah, I love this song!!! Probably my favourite Fiery Furnaces song infact. Although I discovered a few months ago that it wasn’t actually written by The Fiery Furnaces. I could have just looked on the single cover of course as it says the song’s ‘traditional’, but it’s not a song I’d ever heard before. I only found out a few months ago that it was an old song when I was staying with my Mum and Nick (Step-Dad) in Hemel. We were in the car, travelling back from my Auntie Margaret’s, when Nick started talking about an old vinyl he used to have by some bearded bloke (possibly with a pipe – though my imagination might have added that in) singing random traditional folk type songs. He then felt inclined to sing us a few bursts of these songs. And if you’ve ever heard my Step-Dad sing, you’ll know this is generally not a good idea! The chances of him singing things that actually vaguely resemble the original tune, are generally few and far between!!! However on this occasion I found myself recognising the lyrics – “I wish I was single again. I wish I was single again. ‘Cos when I was single, my pockets did jingle and I wish I was single again”. From the back of the car I shrieked out “oh my god, I know that song!!!!! That’s The Fiery Furnaces!!! Is that a cover?!??” It was so random! We all found it highly hilarious that I recognised the tune of some old traditional tune that my Step-Dad used to listen to when he was a boy. You probably had to be there!! Anyway, the Fiery Furnaces version is obviously much funkier and not obviously a folk song at all – plus the lyrics have been changed so that it’s sung from a female viewpoint. But yes, great song!

The Fiery Furnaces – The Fiery Furnaces EP
Brilliant collection of songs! I can’t remember how much it cost but it wasn’t much more than the price of a single and it’s got 10 tracks on it! It runs to 41 minutes infact and includes my 3 favourite Fiery Furnaces songs – ‘Single Again’, ‘Tropical Ice-Land’ and ‘Smelling Cigarettes’! Such good value!!! If you want to buy something that’s a good introduction to The Fiery Furnaces then I’d recommend this. Not sure how easy it is to get hold of now though as it was released in 2004. Ooh hang on, the HMW website have it for £4.99! 🙂 Oh no, sorry, it’s out of stock! There are some cheap copies on the Amazon marketplace though 🙂
‘Duffer St. George’ – Oh yeah, this EP’s awesome. Yes, like a hundred billion hotdogs. Mmmmmm hotdogs. I think I might have some pizza…

Fi-Lo Beddow – The Fi-Lo Beddow EP
Mark Morriss’ solo side-project (him from The Bluetones for those who don’t know!). I first bought the EP on download as it sounded like that was the only way it was going to be available. It was then released on CD too, so of course I had to buy it again! 🙂 Not particularly different from The Bluetones’ stuff, perhaps unsurprisingly, but that’s not a bad thing! His solo gigs are supposed to be great, but I still haven’t managed to make one. He’s playing a few in August, though he seems to just be going by ‘Mark Morriss’ now rather than the more secretive ‘Fi-Lo Beddow’. Anyway, am tempted to go to one of the London gigs at the end of August, but depends if I can afford it really – that usual stumbling block! I should probably be starting to save for going to Italy next year for my sister’s wedding. I should probably get my passport renewed too!! That would be kinda useful. Plus the cost for that’s going up in October or something, so I should get a move on really. Damn money (or lack thereof).

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