This is a review of "Swords in the Sunset" recorded by Andy Beverley. The review was written by Sam Saunders in 2002.
This is a brave thing to do. Andrew Beverley is not an accomplished singer or guitarist, but he has a pile of heartbreak and a real story to tell. The ten tracks are confessional and spontaneous. They could have been made up on the day of the recording. The voice is Beverley's natural voice and the words are as plain as conversation.
The end result is very hard to take. Most of us could produce a similar collection of songs in an afternoon or two of lovelorn misery. But the key fact is that A. Beverley has gone ahead and done it when most of us wouldn't. The theme is unchanging: "we had something going on. You got bored before I did and I blame you to hell with an anger that I don't understand and can't express". Tunes are minimalist and song patterns are strung together from the familiar four bar phrases of a hundred mid set tear-jerkers.
It's mostly one acoustic guitar and one voice. Sometimes there's a twelve string, sometimes a second acoustic plays a faltering solo line. A reedy saxophone makes an appearance and a kazoo gets dragged unwillingly into the one slightly cheerful song ("Love Jig", which is lyrically as single mindedly unhappy as the rest)