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Like a Frank Sinatra from Hell, Nick Marsh, lead singer with 1980’s alternative
rock luminaries ‘Flesh For Lulu’ has re-emerged with this haunting and timeless solo
album. A Universe Between Us is a radical departure from his stateside chart successes
and offers an altogether more intimate, poignant and classic approach to songwriting.
To listen to this album is like pulling up a stall beside some beaten barfly loosened
by liquor, contemplating life, love and loss. Like Charles Bukowski, Marsh is poetic
without being florid; reflective without being maudlin; brittle and brutal whilst
also deeply romantic.
The titles of the songs reveal Marsh’s love affair with nostalgic Americana. The
Femme Fatal with The Smokin’ Gun struts through the roach-riddled lyrics following
the Midnight Cowboy call of Destiny Angel, whilst Red Hot & Ready pulses like a flashing
neon light on the crumbling wall of a cheap hotel. A Universe Between Us evokes
filmic visuals: Images pass ephemeral but indelible. If there were a modern musical
equivalent of Edward Hopper, Marsh might be it.
His story-telling ability and lyrical dexterity can also be compared to Leonard Cohen,
for behind the melancholic facade is a stoical, self deprecating sense of humour
that allows Marsh to openly admit his failings with a rare comic candour. Marsh’s
epic, emotive voice which belted out hits with Flesh For Lulu such as ‘I Go Crazy’,
‘Postcards From Paradise’ and ‘Subterraneans’ has continued to grow in maturity and
A Universe Between Us is the result of Marsh’s shift from old school rock traditions,
the consolidation of a broad sweep of influences absorbed over the last decade and
an inspired collaboration with first time
producer Katharine Blake, the founder of the No. 1 selling classical act Mediaeval
Baebes and avant garde/gothic band Miranda Sex Garden who also provides the lithe
and luxurious strings and additional vocals whilst other guest performers include
Ray Hanseon (Thee Hypnotics), Mike Servant (Miranda Sex Garden), Vince Johnson (Daisy
Chainsaw), David Ryder Prangley(Rachel Stamp), David Francolini (Levitation, Dark
Star) and Matt Fisher (The Servant) to name but a few.
Marsh may have “the bus fare to nowhere” but along with Babylonian whores and shape
shifting aliens, he takes us on a seductive, sensational road trip of the heart.