CAPTAINS AND KINGS
[Massive Rodent Records]
Duncan Bisatt is certainly a man who has his fingers in many guitar cases. Not only does he play the bass, Duncan is a classically trained guitarist. He is also a member of Northamptonian band Bushpigs, formed from the ashes of 1980s/90s era act Marabar Caves. Duncan is also a singer-songwriter in his own right and has his own solo venture. He has recently returned home from an extended week of musical shenanigans, whilst performing in Marburg, Germany – Northampton’s twinned town – for Manofest Musik Fest.
‘Captains and Kings’ is his latest EP, the title track released off his latest album, Reality and Abstraction. Made and produced in Northampton, the EP consists of four tracks; ‘Captains and Kings’, ‘White Shoes’, ‘My Mistakes’ and ‘Toc’. New Boots asked Duncan about writing this new material. “I write the music first, then I spend months and months agonising over lyrics. I have the music, the structure, perhaps a tune, a hook or a line in my head, but lyric writing and me is a constant battle really. I’m a man of lots of tunes and few words, which is strange as my job is all words. I’m a lawyer during the day. I’m incredibly self-critical. I’m working on something at the moment and I think I’m on set of lyrics number five. I have loads of half written notebooks, lying around in pockets, in bags. It’s just finding the bit you remember writing last year. That’s the tricky bit!”
Title track ‘Captains and Kings’ is of a dream-like, folk sound; a bitter sweet reminiscence. The beautifully shot, minimalist music video that accompanies the single was produced by Tramp D Addy [those dancing guitars, swaying and merging, is a particularly nice touch]. Bisatt’s prog rock influences show through in the melancholic, more visceral sound of ‘My Mistakes’, whilst ‘Toc’ provides something of a musical interlude. Its rhythmic beat replicates a clock ticking. Both demonstrate entrancing layers and panoramic depth.
The upbeat, acoustic rendition of ‘White Shoes’, recorded at Northampton’s legendary small venue The Lab, is a finishing flourish to the EP. “A friend asked me why don’t you write any happy songs, so I wrote a happy song. This is a tale of going to discos in the 1980s”. Despite Duncan’s own self-criticism, ‘White Shoes’ is an impeccably well-written track, drenched with nostalgic references intricately interwoven into the lyrics. A favourite line is “And I found your Tainted Love/Fitted me just like a glove/Almost drowned out by Japan/You hit upon This Charming Man”. See if you can spot them all…
You can catch Duncan performing at various open mic nights and festivals, as well as performing with the Bushpigs at various venues throughout the summer.
‘Captains and Kings’ is released on Duncan’s own label Massive Rodent Records, and is available on all good streaming and download sites