Slacking on Pain
A creative collaboration between poet and musician: spoken word performances overlaid with innovative guitar. Sometimes challenging… sometimes moving… sometimes beautiful
David Reid is a professional musician. A gifted composer and lyricist David and his band, The Contrast, have released eight critically acclaimed albums. Steven Van Zandt described them as, ‘One of the best bands on the planet – and England too.’
David has a particular talent for coupling lovely melodies with dark lyrics in a way that both surprises the listener and intensifies the emotional impact of a song.
David was born in Glasgow and, although his family relocated to the south of England when he was very young, he remains very much a Scot.
After four years at Art College – mostly spent hiding out in the local music library – David embarked on a full-time career in music. He started his own guitar teaching business and spent several years working as a session player/hired hand. In 1998, having worked on a hugely diverse range of ‘success-chasing’ projects, David decided to concentrate on his own material. He had realised that any kind of success would only be worth having if you actually liked and believed in what you were writing and playing.
Ron Graves grew up in the North East of England, in the mining town of Spennymoor, County Durham. He left school aged fifteen, having excelled at nothing. His English teachers noticed something, though, and generally allowed him to write about whatever he liked.
After leaving school, Ron worked in a hotel for three years. An historian who became his friend thought that reading ancient Roman and Greek literature, and writing poetry, meant Ron should get back into education. Ron’s parents agreed and he spent the next seven years as a student (‘Parasiting on Mam and Dad,’ he says) before becoming a student psychiatric nurse, ‘To find out what happened in the asylum.’ In total, Ron managed to be a student for ten years!
Since 1982, he has worked with troubled teenagers.
Ron says most of his earlier writing, ‘Just lay around somewhere till I forgot about it.’ Then, two years ago, he began a collaboration with David Reid and the current album resulted.
Ron is a performance poet. He has written and directed one short film, with more in preparation.
Having grown up in the coalfield, it was maybe inevitable that Ron became and remains a political and trades union activist.
Lovely As Suspicion
Not everything here is a comfortable listen, and neither is it supposed to be. You don’t listen to songs likeChildcare or Let Down to be soothed; they are a painfully real depiction of the tragedy that arises when humanity loses compassion. Prepare to be challenged.