Gilroy Mere – The Green Line

Gilroy Mere – The Green Line

Since gently dropping his Dollboy nom de plume as a catch-all repository for his chameleonic creativity a few years back, the Hastings-based Oliver Cherer has been no stranger to these very pages by trading with the pseudonyms of The Assistant, The Wrestler, Rhododendron and Australian Testing Labs Inc. as well as under his own name.  Whilst another solo monikered song-based release is just around the corner on Wayside & Woodland, Cherer sneaks out his latest record via yet another persona, Gilroy Mere, for the much-cherished Clay Pipe Music.

As a conceptual psychogeographical affair, The Green Line finds Cherer paying a largely instrumental esoteric homage to the long-forgotten bus service that once linked central London to rural towns between the 1930s and late-1980s.  Sonically and topographically the long-player moves from London suburbia through the countryside to the coast and to the start of a return journey.  Along the way it revisits the more pastoral routes of Cherer’s Sir Ollife Leigh & Other Ghosts LP, whilst still following diversions into his motorik and analogue-electro explorations (as primarily aired on the Polytechnic Youth and Deep Distance imprints over the last couple of years) and some previously unvisited destinations.

It begins beautifully with the dreamy “Dunroamin’”, which features the album’s only really discernible non-wordless vocals, with Cherer incanting the names of home counties houses as if they were missing locations from a soothing vintage shipping forecast recording from the Radio 4 archives over a balmy bed of upright piano, glockenspiels, a rudimentary drum machine and guest violin from Jennifer Maris.  From thereon in The Green Line weaves its way along winding routes mapped out with an eccentric travel bag of plugged/unplugged instrumentation and replete with a warming allure that taps deeply into romantic English rurality without retreating into nationalistic insularity.

Hence, we’re carefully driven through the baroque chamber-folk of “Cuckoo Waltz” (one of several cuts to feature the calming ululations and recorder-playing of Riz Maslen); the electro-acoustic Harmonia-meets-Peter Green languor of the gorgeous all-too-short “RLH48”; the bowed-saw swirling of “Hop Pickers”; the slow-motion madrigal mysteries of “A Lychgate”; the string machine-marinated nostalgia of “On Ditchling Beacon”; the gradually swelling synths and guitar meshing of “I Can See The Sea From Here”; the mixture of burbling analogue synths, acoustic guitar, classical as well as jazz-shaped piano lines and layered choral vocals of the sublime title-track; the intimate mournfulness of “Moss And Yew”; and the closing symphonic waltzing of “Just Turn For Home”.

Despite its home-cut construction, The Green Line captures Oliver Cherer calling-in on some more refined and affecting locales, which complement instead of compete with the other looser and wilder destinations of his recent post-Dollboy times. Revel in its reflective ride…

Clay Pipe Music