Cornish Wreckers

This debut album brings you tales from the tough Victorian-era streets of East-End London, tales from the Cornish coast and of its ruthless 19thC pirates, tales of the ghosts and lights that bewitched the sailors travelling on board sea faring vessels made of wood and hemp, listen to the nursery-rhyme about a Bedeviled goat that tempts the flesh of the tender and the innocent, visualize the psychosis that comes from steering a constant course towards the horizon without respite and without the prospect of returning homeward, imbibe of the bygone music-hall playfull-ness towards death and the daily struggle to pay the rent within the leaning walls of the cobbled parishes, hear stories about a time when darkness writhed around the false lamp light through a shortened life . . . and have you heard the news about Mother? Familiar folkloric themes indeed rendered modern. Enjoy the rich and tremulous guitars and synthesized sounds of Michael Plater. Revel in the basso profondo piano treatments and lyrical vocalizations of Tony Millman. Enjoy the female witch choruses rendered by Andrea Millman, Heather Fiona, Sarah Williams, Melon Mendez, Claire Raine, the soaring sirenades of Paige Duggan and the earth rumbling chants of Lachlan Currie and Dean Lombard. Hear the choral influence of Byrd and Tallis and Taverner and of Punk Rock. Feel the Folk Horror. Submit to the sea. Get wrecked.

“False Lights” is an epic treatment of the Cornish Wrecking folk tale. It builds over ten operatic, punk-rock minutes and features a pirate choir which is both lynch mob and Tallis Scholars. The story of the merciless pirates broods and spins out of control in a sonic maelstrom-finale of wind swept voices and strangling feedback. Oh my.

“Black Phillip” is the name of the bedeviled black goat that slowly but surely tempts and ruins a Puritan family trying to build a life in 17thC. New England. The song vibes Moorish and Gregorian modes and witch-chorus charisma. There is devilish backmasking and magical-science guitar and electric auto-harp treatments.

“Into The Horizon” is an extemporization on the biographical shrapnel from the varied accounts of Grace O’Malley the Irish Pirate Queen. It features Byzantine piano modes, backwards guitar and a stentorian soliloquy over field recordings of waves and rigging. Close your eyes and count to the horizon.

“Jack Harry’s Lights” – a gentle, bell-chiming prayer which builds on a ringing guitar figure and ends by dissolving into the sound of an accordian over the waves, like a life, from beginning to end. Jack The Lantern light me home, aloft on jangling guitar and panchromatic piano resonance, too beautiful to ever return from.

“Mother Is Dead” is an impassively incanted inventory of the signs of dormition and demise vis-a-vis “Mother”. A sonorous male choir surges through the choruses while a mischievous Melon Mendez cackles and whispers in the aether around the edges. She taps tables. She hovers against the ceiling.

“A Violet Plucked From Mother’s Grave” is a thorough rewrite of the 1880’s music hall hit. Mary Jane Kelly was heard singing it at her Spitalfields digs, round midnight, shortly before being silenced by Jack The Ripper. She liked the song. Can we know anything about her from the things that she may have left behind? The idea of a song rendered by her voice . . . ?

“Jack The Ripper” is a lilting and melancholic tour of the ghosts and myths surrounding the murderer known as Jack The Ripper. Who was he? Perhaps all that remains is a certain ambiance, a kind of Victorian vapour trail.

Who are Cornish Wreckers ?

“Cornish Wreckers” are primarily three members – Tony Millman, his sister Andrea Millman and Michael Plater. Cornish Wreckers take their name from 19thC folklore. Citizens of the Cornish coast were said to have displayed false lights from the cliffs and from the beaches in order to confuse and lure passing ships onto the treacherous rocks. When the ships foundered the Cornish Wreckers would then row out and board the stricken vessels and seize the cargo. The Cornish Wreckers would kill all the crew on board in order to settle any possible arguments about ownership.

 <a href=””>Lurid Tales Of Wrecking And Repose by Cornish Wreckers</a>

Alternatively . . . Tony Millman on navigational instruments, Michael Plater on psychiatric wigs and powders, Andrea Millman on plaint and false hopes. And a vast cast of international collaborators.

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