Artist: Quiet Loner | Title: Greedy Magicians
‘Greedy Magicians’ is Quiet Loner’s third album – a collection of contemporary protest songs seething with disgust and shot through with melancholy at the state of our coalition-led nation. It’s an album which responds both personally and politically, reflecting on recent events and rewriting them as chapters in a long and historic struggle of the many against the few.
The recording process
Rejecting the securities of a conventional recording studio, Hill instead recorded in an 18th century church in Salford. Lit only by candles and fairy lights with around 100 people present to witness it, Hill and his fellow musicians (with members of Samson & Delilah and Last Harbour) recorded the songs totally live in single takes.
“This was a very, very special evening. Nobody left that building unmoved.”Read a review of the recording event on Americana-UK
Watch video footage of the evening and an interview with Quiet Loner
Hill was determined to capture more than just music on this record so efforts were made to create a sense of occasion and atmosphere through two special art projects. During the recording session, 100 badges were handed out, each bearing a different name of 50 men and 50 women of history who had taken a stand and created positive change.
An edible art installation was created by the Cake Liberation Front (aka artist Caroline Turner). The protest march of cake evoked some of the classic slogan’s of historic struggle. The vegan cakes were eaten by the audience during the break.
The instruments played came with their own histories – James Youngjohns played a mandolin from 1898, Mat Martin showcased a tenor guitar that included wood reclaimed from a Memphis dancefloor, Mike Doward played a 1960s double bass he had rescued from a school caretaker’s skip and Quiet Loner played a Gibson guitar that pre-dated the outbreak of WW1 (1911).
The album sleeves are all individually handprinted using 19th century letterpress machines, the techniques used to print radical pamphlets now deployed to produce a 21st century form of protest. Designed by K.Craig each sleeve has been through 9 seperate print processes meaning that no two sleeves will be identical. The CD insert contains extracts from essays, handwritten in 1934/35, and discovered by Hill in some notebooks written by his grandad. The CD insert also includes 3 reflections on the recording event, one from Quiet Loner, one from a musician (Mat Martin) and one from an audience member (Jane Renton).
Penny Black music
On ‘Greedy Magicians’, a Quiet Loner shows that you can turn feelings of anger and despair into warm and uplifting music. With a mix of humour, sadness and anger, he gets the tone spot-on. A superb album. Evoking an authentic spirit of English folk music. Read a review by Pennyblack music
This is an album of real poetry, showing great imagination. He lines up both barrels at the institution of state and lets rip. “Greedy Magicians” is a strong album about standing up and being counted. Go out and get yourself a copy and enjoy a great album, that is both a joy to listen to and poetic in its nature. Read a review by Fatea magazine
Interviews about the album