by the Editor
Friday, March 30th, 2012
with variations on a theme by Joseph Haydn
Beat poet adventurer strays beyond the bounds of singer songwriter’ MOJO
Haunting tunes & striking lyrics… yearningly pretty & bittersweet.’ The Independent
An incandescent new presence with superior lyrics.’ The Guardian
Lovely, poetic, with poise and bite wrapped in a protest singer’s conscious. ’Daily Mail
The War on Trevor is a 15 minute piece of narrative music composed by critically acclaimed singer songwriter Sarah Gillespie, arranged and produced by her long time collaborator, maverick saxophonist Gilad Atzmon. The piece combines elements of classical music, folk, jazz & blues knitted together with Gillespie’s trademark lyrical bite. The project is supported by the PRS ‘Women Make Music’ Award & launched at Ronnie Scott’s on the 3rd & 4th April 2012.
Set in London The War on Trevor depicts the plights of an ordinary Londoner who suddenly finds himself accused of various wrong-doings, ranging from public indecency and infidelity to terrorism. Gillespie never draws us into Trevor’s guilt or innocence. Instead she sketches a sinister, Kafka-esque world in which guilt and innocence have become irrelevant. Reflecting on the recent tragedy of Jean Charles de Menezes, who was killed by police when he was misidentified as a bomber, and Moazzam Begg, who was imprisoned for terrorism without charge, mere suspicion itself is all it takes for Trevor to be reduced to a blank slate on which various people project their phobias, fears and revenge.
Musically and lyrically Gillespie mixes black humour and pathos in 4 song sections delivered in the first person: by the copper that arrests Trevor (The Miranda Warning), the girlfriend who dumps him (Signal Failure) and finally the Intelligence officer who interrogates him (The Shami Chakrabarti Blues). The first 3 sections are characterised by jovial horns and cockney colloquialisms: ‘Do I look like I sailed down the Thames on a spoon?’ and pithy allusions to Trevor’s ‘meat and two veg’, the ‘Twitterati’ and human relationships that rely entirely on decent phone signals. The final section, however, unfolds into Trevor’s despair as ‘executioners chew gum’ and ‘physiatrists wet the bed.’ Transforming Haydn’s famous melody into an epic war march that laments the carnage taking place along Afghanistan’s main river and beyond, Trevor asks meekly, ‘would you mind terribly if I cry on the banks of the Arghandab .’?
The War on Trevor is a contemporary anti war song. Its protagonist personifies a culture that, without realising it, is terrorised because of the hell it inflicts on others. Sarah Gillespie – guitar and vocals, Gilad Atzmon – clarinets, saxophones & accordion, Enzo Zirrili – drums, Ben Bastin – double bass & cello. The War on Trevor is launched at London’s Ronnie Scott’s on 3rd and 4th April and followed by a 12 date UK tour.