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Robert Rotifer - Our Only Entertainment
Digital
£4.49

Robert Rotifer

Our Only Entertainment

Gare du Nord Records

Released: 4th November 2016 | 5 track singer-songwriter ep

Penning a song about the formulaic inanity of much modern pop might be a 'brave' way of inviting criticism, wrote Ben Howarth of PennyBlackMusic in his review, but despite the cultural malaise, the immigration crisis and anti-European rhetoric, Rotifer continues to believe in pop music, in songwriting and is utterly unapologetic about using his music to tell stories that mean a lot to him.

In its original context, on an album full of post-war and personal history and observation between memories of Vienna and present day Canterbury, Our Only Entertainment is the odd one out, what with its self-referential lines about overused songwriter's tropes and cultural conditioning. It's the moment where Rotifer acknowledges that in order to be believed a writer sometimes needs to show his hand.

On this EP, on the other hand, the same song becomes a disarming preamble to what Rotifer calls my most shamelessly self-indulgent set of lyrics yet.

Keep it Together, a surprisingly spritely tune considering the subject, deals with masculine hang-and maintaining that all-important front, while Writing a Song on a Train describes the point where that mission will inevitable fail (When you're looking for truth in a Glen Campbell record you know you're in trouble my dear).

The last two songs on the record are covers. Kevin Coyne's The World is Full of Fools was recorded as a tribute to legendary combative leftie Austrian singer-songwriter Sigi Maron who used to sing a Viennese version of the song, having been a friend of Coyne's and recorded with his producer Bob Ward in the early 1980s. Sigi passed away earlier this year, and Robert was lucky enough to get to know and play with him in the last few years of his life.

For No One was recorded for German Rolling Stone's recent cover-mount CD of covers of songs from the Beatles' Revolver album with a nod to Blackbird provided by the birds in the garden outside Rotifer's home studio.

"Robert Rotifer couldn’t sound more English if he tried. He specialises in Ray Davies-style narrative songs, delivered in a pleasingly flat Robyn Hitchcock voice, with heart-wrenching chord changes pitched somewhere between XTC and the Beatles."
John Lewis, Uncut
"“Penning a song about the formulaic inanity of much modern pop might be a 'brave' way of inviting criticism. Despite the cultural malaise, the immigration crisis and anti-European rhetoric, Rotifer continues to believe in pop music, in songwriting and is utterly unapologetic about using his music to tell stories that mean a lot to him."
Benjamin Howarth, Pennyblackmusic
"i think your record is [records are] unique in its conscientious clarity,without being simple: i.e. repays really careful listening. a rare intelligence i think, with the advantage of you starting from such an unusual angle"
Robert Wyatt, Soft Machine, Matching Mole