Tuesday, August 14, 2012
BILL WELLS AND AIDAN MOFFAT - EVERYTHING'S GETTING OLDER
We all know Aidan from Arab Strap, it's been a few years since their untimely 'shutting up shop' and they are still (by me at least) dearly missed. I'd abandoned all hope of ever hearing anything as world weary, truthful and realistic again, instead retreading the body of work they left behind until it was carpet worn and threadbare like the lobby of the Scarborough Grand.
'Everything's Getting Older' is also a lot like the Scarborough Grand.
I chose this hotel particularly because they have a very favorable off season rate for OAPs, a relatively well priced bar with Skol on tap and a number of rotating entertainers including a Hits of the 60s package, ballroom dancing and a spattering of 'blue comedy'. It is also an insanely ornate monument to Victorian time of winged cars and steam powered corsets, one that has seen better days. There is a beautiful synchronicity between the aging patrons and the peeling walls cigarette stained ceilings and it just so happens to be quite possibly the most beautiful hotel on the face of the planet.
So I think that what I am trying to say is not so much that Arab Strap or indeed Aidan Moffat are a hotel, but rather that in the same way that the Grand is something of a proud old lady held together by a nice floral frock from Fenwick's and a spattering of rouge 'Everything's Getting Older' manages to marry dignity and decay to startling effect.
Bill Well's instrumentation is perfectly judged acting as an anchoring point to Moffat's sober often spoken observations. It's a beautiful album that also acts as an obvious soundtrack to the mid-life crisis that lies just south of the halfway point for most of us. Where 'The Weekend Starts Here' had a feeling of cheap drugs, all night parties and walking home in the daylight, 'Everything's Getting Older' reflects on parenthood, the inevitability of the dull daily grind and ultimately death.
It's not a cheery listen but it is brilliant and beautiful testament to somebody who has seen better days, again, a bit like the Scarborough Grand.