The Fall & Rise of Edgar Bourchier and the Horrors of War is set to be performed by Mick Harvey (The Birthday Party, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds) and author Christopher Richard Barker tonight on Marc Riley’s Salford-based BBC Radio 6 programme.
This show will be the band’s premiere of the show live, and the group are in very high spirits during the context of the interview. A Salford-based string quartet looks set to play alongside the band across this release.
Chris got in contact with Mick Harvey when he saw him in a back page of a music magazine talking about various projects, including a key interest in World War One. The two members got together in Suffolk earlier this year to record their new material and bring together the great sound of their album.
The war poetry was originally written to be an appendix in Christopher’s potential novel which he wrote about the World War One soldier, whilst on tour with PJ Harvey, Mick Harvey started working on two songs and created their newest album.
Below is a list of influences for the album itself:
Speaking of his work with PJ Mick states: “Working with Polly (PJ) has certainly shaped things and has a huge impact in whatever you do, so will shape your sense musically to a great deal … once you work with people extensively it just becomes part of your knowledge base.”
Christopher speaks about his extensive influences including Alternative Goth Punk such as Bauhaus, Sisters Of Mercy, The Mission and David Bowie, “they were my access point to music.” Sisters Of Mercy even supported The Birthday Party in London, bringing their Goth creativity to Christopher and the contemporary of Mick.
The theme of the music of Edgar Bourchier had been from a Nick Drake character idea, writing poems in the 60’s/70’s about a dead World War One soldier rather than taking work directly from authors such as Wilfred Owen or Siegfried Sassoon and instead wanted to create a fictional poet.
The difference between poetry and music is the “depth of sensory involvement … a good song is better than poetry, actually,” according to Christopher. “Poetry you have to individually wrap yourself in it and music comes to you,” Mick Harvey follows up.
When asked if they’re taking the music on tour Mick states: “It’s unlikely, we would have to figure out a way of doing it due to the amount of singers on the album … perhaps we could put it in a theatrical show. It could potentially be a theatrical show, but we haven’t thought that far ahead.”
Guest singers on this release include Alain Johannes (Queens Of The Stone Age) and Simon Breed (Breed) who give exceptional performances on this release. Vocalist of QOTSA Josh Hommehas invited Mick Harvey over to America to do a Desert Sessions with him. PJ Harvey and Queens Of The Stone Age have played together multiple times in Australia on Big Day Out Festival.
“The album is a mystery but what it will grow, what it will grow into, I don’t know,” states Mick Harvey, “I don’t have a strategy, that’s how to sell stuff, I just make music, it’s not my world.”
Chris is planning on releasing a book about the story of Edgar Bourcier and is getting to Nick to look over the book to make sure it’s historically accurate to the 80’s references within the book. This shows a gradual growth from Edward Bourchier followed into a discovery, this narrative can develop and go into several other music projects.
The two give a sense of professionalism to each other works with Chris stating: “criticism doesn’t have to be negative, it’s accurate and helpful and helps to carry the project further.”
The project features a variety of styles, to make it feel like it feel like it’s adapted over three different periods. Quite a lot of the track are ballads and tracks such as The Lost Bastard Son Of War tries to strike out in a more aggressive manor, it just depends upon what part of the album you listen to.
Being released the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day the sound of this release is as prevalent in 2018 as it will ever be.