Alan Brown, frontman of Manchester agit-postpunk icons bIG*fLAME, will release ‘Revolt Against An Age of Plenty’ on July 30, his first album in nine years under the moniker The Great Leap Forward via Europe’s A Turntable Friend Records. It will be available as a coloured double-vinyl gatefold LP, and it will also be available for digital download and on gatefold CD with 16-page lyrics booklet.
What better way to announce the new release than a catchy video for the title track, a vibrant foreshadowing of what’s to come on this vigorous, scintillating and life-affirming 13-track album. Railing against mass consumerism and media control, the accompanying video and imagery for ‘Revolt Against An Age of Plenty’ was created by Richard Gardner.
Alan Brown is a multi-instrumentalist songwriter and lyricist whose legacy as a British underground artist became apparent from 1983 onwards. Featured on the influential C86 NME cassette as part of bIG*fLAME, Brown also recorded nine John Peel sessions for BBC Radio One in the 1980’s with bIG*fLAME (4), The Great Leap Forward (2), A Witness (2) and Inca Babies (1).
Since bIG*fLAME split up in 1986, Brown has channeled his work as The Great Leap Forward, writing all songs and lyrics, as well as playing and programming all instruments on recordings.
The ‘Revolt Against An Age of Plenty’ LP features Brown’s trademark political digs and social commentary, with incisive political and social commentary layered over sharp yet melodic guitar pop – plus a touch of electro and humour thrown in for good measure. Not surprisingly, the name ‘Revolt Against An Age Of Plenty’ was lifted from an article by one of Brown’s favourite social commentators and writers, Jack Common, whose works he has drawn on heavily for inspiration for decades.
“The culmination of four year’s writing, this album has a more varied approach than previous releases. Whereas previously I’ve concentrated on a political approach, this album takes a wider view of the world – perhaps it’s an age thing – last year (2020) saw me reach a milestone birthday which I explore in the song ‘Can You Kanreki?’, celebrating the Japanese concept of second childhood and re-birth for those hitting 60,” says Alan Brown.
“Of course I still provide the trademark political and social vignettes – how could I not – such as the title song of the album ‘Revolt Against An Age Of Plenty’ – named after a collection of works by the English writer Jack Common in which I rail against mass consumerism and media control.”
The Great Leap Forward released the debut EP ‘Controlling The Edges Of Tone’in 1987, followed by 1988’s ‘A Peck On The Cheek À La Politique’ EP, described by the NME as “conspicuously excellent” and thel 12-inch single ‘Who Works The Weather?’
1988 brought the release of the debut long-player ‘Don’t Be Afraid Of Change’, praised by The Guardian and Melody Maker, among other leading publications, and tours of the UK and Europe as support for the likes of That Petrol Emotion. In 2007, he revived The Great Leap Forward, releasing ‘Finished Unfinished Business’ the next year, followed by the album ‘This Is Our Decade of Living Cheaply and Getting By’ in 2012.
As of July 16, the title track ‘Revolt Against An Age of Plenty’ will be available across streaming platforms like Spotify and online stores such as Apple Music. The full album will be released in all formats on July 30 and can be pre-ordered via Bandcamp.
Mixed, produced & mastered at Otterhead Studios UK by Ant Chapman & Alan Brown
Alan Brown – vocals, guitars, bass, drums and synth programming, lyrics / peasant poetry
Ant Chapman – extra Kraut Rock synths
Album artwork by Ian Cheeseright, Simon Williams & Alan Brown
Video and imagery by Richard Gardner
Product distribution by SRD
Catalogue number: TURN77LP / TURN77CD
“First there’s the jagged guitar melodics, sweet but never tacky. Then there’s the ferocious rhythmic drive. But best of all there’s the stylish and witty use of found voices…snatches and snippets of speech and propaganda that are integral to the songs” ~ Stuart Maconie, NME
“An artist with quite the pedigree in terms of output, touring and originality… Cleverly worded, cynical (or is that realistic?), catchy and danceable – a winning formula” ~ Big Takeover Magazine
“Meeting the advent of the synthesizer ethic head-on” ~ The Guardian
“Full of wordy thoughts on the state of this nation set to an infectious, chirpy dance beat” ~ Ian Gittins, Melody Maker
“Pop shimmering down urban lanes, sprinkling hard dance diatribes, infectious melodies, and lyrics with substance” ~ Up Town Magazine