There’s no more fitting tribute to a cult hero whose music transcends categorisation than a gig weaving light and shade with the same elasticity and euphoria.
In a culture obsessed with overhauling the plain and the jarring, Cardiacs and frontman Tim Smith are a breath of fresh air. Life can be messy and unpredictable and raucous - and their music refuses to smother this in gloss.
“The Whole World Window”, a fundraising gig in support of Tim’s recovery from a stroke - and featuring Preston acts Ahsa, Adam Shaw, Sean Keefe, The Jackpot Golden Boys and Sweet Deals on Surgery - captured the spirit of this. Set at The New Continental, Preston, the setlist bounced from the mellow to the wild, offering a hybrid of genres from folk to heavy metal.
The Daisy Stage fired us to the heavier end of the emotional spectrum: Sweet Deals on Surgery, for example, thrummed away in delicious melodies before morphing into firings of the drums and guitar.
Among the other acts were: BRITNEY, a thundering of heavy metal; The Jackpot Golden Boys, wild and poetic; Trojan Horse, lulling, then rumbling and crashing; and ALL HAIL HYENA! who offered up sweet melodies, punctuated with bursts of attitude and melting into rapture.
In The Consultants Flower Garden, draped in sunshine and breezy music, Adam Shaw wove tenderness into folk narratives while Ahsa’s voice soured a capella and David Shurr blanketed the garden in a warmth that could soothe the tiredest of souls.
The greatest applause, nonetheless, must go to organiser Greg Braysford for capturing Tim’s tremendous ethos.
Photographs taken by Simon Balaam.