Bristol indie music legend Davey Woodward and The Winter Orphans presents ‘Bad Day’, the latest single from their ‘Love and Optimism’ LP. Best known for his bands The Brilliant Corners, The Experimental Pop Band and Karen, they recorded this album ‘live’ in the studio. A very personal collection, this is Woodward’s most emotional performance, putting Davey solidly amongst the best songwriters of his generation.
Davey Woodward and the Winter Orphans play alt folk, often intimate songs set in Bristol. Sometimes they get into drainpipes and pointy boots ‘New Wave’ mode. ‘Bad Day’ is one of those moments.
Nobody visits. I’d like someone to stay
In my single bed with my microwave
I’m having a bad day.
“Imagine a time when putting together the best cassette compilation ever (Today it’s called a playlist) was the sole purpose of the day. Getting it right would mean the difference between a good day or bad day. It was also the best way to impress girls and show your mates how hip you were. A time when dreaming, looking cool and disregarding the rules was everything. Decades later and life catches up, poverty, broken relationships, broken families. You could make a playlist but who would you send it too?” says Davey Woodward.
Ahead of this, the band previewed two singles – ‘Occupy This Space’ and ‘Warm Hands’, which could be a soundtrack to a David Lynch movie. This is pop music for grown ups loaded with dark mysteries of desire and loathing, melody and lyrics that stick in your head.
‘Love & Optimism’ is the band’s second collective long-play, following their 2018 self-titled debut album, released via Tapete Records. On both set of recordings, the band wanted to capture that elusive live magic and spontaneity that is often lost by today’s modern recording techniques.
Davey Woodward first came to prominence with his 1980s band The Brilliant Corners, part of the jangly indie C86 scene, but with a diverse palette of indie pop, country, rock n roll, post-punk and humour. The mini-albums ‘Growing up Absurd’, ‘Fruit Machine’ and ‘Whats in a Word‘ brought the band to the attention of the music press and wider public, followed by their best-known album ‘Somebody up there likes me’ (1987), several John Peel sessions, indie chart success and regular tours. In 2013, Cherry Red Records released a retrospective of the band’s work ‘Heart on Your Sleeve’ (A decade in pop 1983-1993)’ to much interest.
Woodward’s next band The Experimental Pop Band (1996- 2012) was again championed by Peel and signed to City Slang Records, enjoying critical acclaim in the UK and Europe, and performing at Glastonbury.
In the last decade, Davey has released a handful of solo LPs, including the lofi folk pop album ‘6 miles east of here 5 miles north of nowhere’ (2011). He also recorded with alt guitar band Karen, releasing several EPs on The Environmental Sounds label.
The album was recorded in Summer 2019 prior to the Covid 19 pandemic and the tragic events that led to Black Lives Matter, but strangely it is still relevant to these times. ‘Occupy this Space’ seemingly captures the whole feeling of ‘Lockdown’ and the song ‘Clara’s Ghost’ is partly about the history of Bristol’s involvement in the Slave Trade. Just a few months after it was written, Bristol residents pulled down the Statue of Slave Trader Edward Colston in the centre of town, making worldwide headlines.
‘Love and Optimism’ is out now, available on limited edition white vinyl and black vinyl, on gatefold CD with a booklet, and also digitally. It can be ordered via Bandcamp at https://daveywoodward.bandcamp
Recorded and produced by Joe Garcia at Joe’s Garage, Bristol
Mastered by James Plotkin, USA
All songs written by Davey Woodward
Davey Woodward – Vocals and guitar
Steve Dew – Drums
Julian Hunt – Lead guitar
Johnathan (JB) Bewley – Bass
Harry Furnace – Trumpet / Cornet
Phil Walker – Violin
Davey Woodward photos by Sarah Northeast. Band photos by Jon Kent