Spiro first met on the Bristol music scene and have been together, their line-up completely unchanged, for over 20 years. In 2009 Spiro signed to Real World Records and went on to release two albums: Lightbox (2009) and Kaleidophonica (2012). It seems fitting, then, to complete the set and re-issue Pole Star, which originally came out independently in 1997.
Pole Star was recorded live in a two day session at the former BBC Christchurch Studios in Bristol in the winter of 1996-7 by Portishead engineer Rik Dowding. At the time the studio was also in use by Massive Attack for the recording of their Mezzanine album. A curious Liz Fraser, there to record the vocal for 'Teardrop', was taken with the sounds she heard from downstairs and wandered into the Spiro session, much to the excitement of the admiring band members.
The photo session for the original album artwork took place on a grey day in the nearby seaside town of Clevedon, the grand plan being to have the band emerging mysteriously from the sea. The quartet waded dutifully through thick mud to immerse themselves in the brown sludge of the Bristol Channel, emerging as the subjects of a deeply unpleasant collection of photographs which have remained mercifully unused to this day. The chosen photo ultimately showed them drying off on the pier!
The band had met three years earlier in an eclectic music session in Bristol, but the material for Pole Star was written in a series of rural retreats in Wales and Cornwall. This lost gem of an album is a wonderful addition to the Spiro collection, demonstrating how their unique and fascinating sound began, and how fresh it remains after 17 years.
Since their formation (originally as The Famous Five), it was clear that Spiro were not your average acoustic instrumental act. Their music has since been aptly likened to "Detroit techno played by a travelling band out of a Hardy novel - or Steve Reich playing the cider-sc....... więcej