Album, Single and EP Reviews



  Broadside Ballads by Alston/Kirk Overdrive

Broadside Ballads cover art

Artist: Alston/Kirk Overdrive
Title: Broadside Ballads
Catalogue Number: Velvet Coast CRKD02
Review Format: Compact Disc
Release Year: 2024

I often wonder where musicians get that creative spark to start their fire. I would like to think that, in true rock ‘n’ roll style, combustion was initiated by drink, drugs or Peggy Sue but it would seem that even history can ignite an album with “Broadside Ballads” by Alston/Kirk Overdrive being fuelled by a visit to the library.

As you might expect with such intellectual motivations, the worthy and plenty of them put in guest appearances on this album with the eternally classy Christine Bovill – on “Blown Away” - and the equally elegant Lavinia Blackwall – on “Nothing Can Unsay” – easily charming my ears. The lyrics are apparently based on the content of historical documents, as broadside ballads were the mass media of a day lost forever in the dim and distant past, while the music effectively parallels these announcements of everyday mundanity with a diligence that can, unfortunately, best be coloured as beige.

I sometimes wonder if I missed something by not studying history whilst at school. Apparently not.
Review Date: January 20 2024