St James Infirmary is (mostly) Northumbrian polymath G.W Lang: new album A Heap of Broken Images sees the 30-odd year old project at it’s most psychedelic and expansive.
One minute dancing round a fire with an acid-fried celtic sex cult, the next sat at the bar at 3am in a smoke-filled jazz club, via some marvelously sideways pop songs: Lang doesn’t stay still in one form for the whole 45 minutes, with only a keen ear for melody and offbeat instrumentation holding the ship together.
Available on a limited run of 30 clear cassettes with hand-printed wraparound sleeve and labels (and on MP3) from bandcamp – the cassette also features a bonus tune that won’t be available on any other format.
St James Infirmary, of Ashington, Northumberland, was formed in 1985 as the vehicle for singer, songwriter and multi- instrumentalist G.W.Lang and has been continuously active ever since. G.W.L. is assisted in his work by an evolving and rotating cast of bandmates, and at last count, SJI has had something in the region of 50 members.
“It was the best of bands, it was the worst of bands, it was the band of wisdom, it was the band of foolishness, it was the band of belief, it was the band of incredulity, it was the band of Light, it was the band of Darkness! Bliss it was at that concert to be alive, but to be drunk was very heaven!
Charles Dickens: A Tale Of St. James Infirmary (1859)