CD: 'the way'

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Of Late


an human interest organisation

Shane Pullen

Medium: Singer/song-writer
Experience: worked with "Stuff Smith" and "The McCoys", supporting such acts as Bob Geldoff, Billy Bragg, Hunters and Collectors, Paul Kelly, Crash Test Dummies, Tiddas, Hoodoo Gurus and Hothouse Flowers.
Works: Albums - "For Ornamental Purposes Only" (1977), "the way" (2002/2003)

It takes only a brief search on the internet to work out Shane Pullen's been doing what he does best for well over a decade and although he has more than a mere cult following and despite the impact of "Oh my god" on independant music circles around the world, some people still have to embarrassingly cough out that they've not even noticed him.

It is a particular pity for such people, not because they've missed out on a master solo guitar entertainer's deft weaving of musical styles, from the sparsest minimalism to the closest harmonies and from elegantly simple strummed rhythms to fingerpicking with the complexity of nature. And not because they've missed out on a musicianship so refined as to make this all look and feel deceptively easy whens he launches you away with the mood he manages to convey for each piece. Reasons enough for anyone to consider finding a better rock to live under, yet this is but the tip of the iceberg. Despite the (truly rich) rewards of Shane's years of hard yakka and experience, his significant prowess as a musician is just the icing on the cake, and like sex, the icing can be most enticing indeed, but the true bounty lies much deeper than this.

The greatest gift in Shane's performances and recordings are his ideas - Shane's songs are not merely plucked from his own soul, he has poured out the soul of a world that has fogotten how to voice its most primal griefs. In the charade of beauracracy and new-speak we find ourselves penned in, Shane has managed to unveil the facade and shed more than a little light upon the nature of our unease with modern life. His uncanny knack for hitting the nail right on the head can sometimes feel like he's got you straight between the eyes and there's a spine-shiver or two for anyone regardless of their sensitivities. For the less than perfect amongst us, Shane provides a veritable banquet for thought as he invites us to consider in turn our relations with those we share life with and the ramifications of how we choose to conduct them, how we impact on (or fail to intervene for) the lives of those we know nothing about, the value (or lack thereof) of obsession with the human condition, our duty to persevere undistracted by the charletans that would hoodwink us, the very nature of Love itself and our relationship with the Divine.

It is technically possible to merely place one of Shane's recordings on the stereo and close your heart to the messages therein. With the seemingly endless variety of styles and techniques he employs there is no danger of anyone getting bored, in fact he could be considered to be a perfect party musician and i've seen his performances and not been suprised at all to hear the acclaim his musicianship earns. But it would be a pity indeed to be that close to greatness, just to walk on past ignorant of the deeper experience. By my reckoning it would be pretty hard to over emphasise the rewards waiting to be discovered for those willing to think about what Shane Pullen has to say. If you still rank amongst those yet to enjoy his gifts then get out and watch him play live if you can, otherwise get hold of an album and see what i mean. Then spread the word.

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