Regular readers will know that my favourite album of last year was Sweet Billy Pilgrim‘s “Crown and Treaty”. I wasn’t the only one. Mojo Magazine slotted it neatly into their Top 50 albums, calling it an instant five star classic, and it made many other end-of-year lists.
Simply put, it is a towering work of staggering genius, and every home should own a copy. However, in these strange and confusing times, it has become rapidly apparent that not every home does own a copy. I checked.
Well, it appears that Sweet Billy Pilgrim (who comprise of singer, guitarist and songwriter Tim Elsenburg, bassist/banjo player Anthony “Bish” Bishop, guitarist and singer Jana Carpenter, and drummer/percussionist Alistair Hamer) have decided that they want to do something about that state of affairs.
Initial plans to insert a CD in copies of the Yellow Pages were dismissed on the grounds that although a copy goes to every home in the UK, dear old Yellow Pages is only actually opened by panicking home owners looking to plug a leaky tap, or old men seeking books they wrote fifty years ago about fly fishing. In a worst case scenario, people would only discover they owned a copy of the “Crown and Treaty” CD when their boiler broke down – and trying to listen to a good album in Arctic conditions whilst muttering to yourself about why tradesmen never turn up on time is not conducive to a happy relationship with carefully crafted Art-rock.
So instead, the band have decided to target their attentions on the discerning Mojo Magazine buying public – and will give a copy of the album away – for FREE – to all Mojo readers. And, indeed anyone who clicks this link. That means you too. Yes – you.
Tim Elsenburg has also written a superb piece in The Huffington Post about the thought process the band went through before deciding to give away their music for free. (It’s sickening really – not only does Tim write these amazing songs, but he also writes these intelligent and thoughtful pieces that make me want to throw my pen down and wonder why I didn’t write something like that…).
I only hope you will grasp this opportunity with both hands, or perhaps a prehensile tail or other appendage and download this fantastic record.
In other excellent news, there is to be a vinyl release of Crown and Treaty – limited to just 350 copies. Never mind all that Record Store Day stuff with “limited runs” of 2,000: here’s your chance to get something that only the real music-loving cognoscenti will ever get a chance to own in an edition so limited, I only told you about it after I secured my own copy. You can buy your own copy on Sweet Billy Pilgrim’s website here.
This is the first time “Crown and Treaty” has been available on vinyl, and the release date is the 17th June – when the band will play a rare show at The Lexington in Islington – a great venue – to celebrate.
Record #184: Sweet Billy Pilgrim – Crown and Treaty