SWINDON-born, Bristol-based, Gaz Brookfield roars the title track on his forthcoming album, “I know my place, and I know what you want from me.” Claiming it’s to “become another functioning member of society.” I digress, favouring he’d remain doing what he does best, shuddering the UK with his dynamic folk-rock style.
It certainly seems the case as his fifth studio album, “I Know my Place,” is released on 9th December, and I’m pleased to confirm, it rocks.
The winner of Acoustic Magazine’s 2010 singer/songwriter of the year, Gaz brings us a diverse range on his latest release, there’s honesty, wit and intelligent prose in his writing.
The title track rages with the Levellers’ ferocity, similarly “The World Spins Around,” with its up-tempo fiddle. While others, such as “Life Begins” reminisces of a young Billy Brag with unpretentious routine subjects and ripostes.
Majority of the songs have contemporary themes, a ballad to the beach, a ditty centred around an intoxicated Christmas, daily procedures in droll Ian Dury bravura, and the most amusing one, punkish “I’ve paid my money,” about critical drunkards in the crowd.
“The Tale of Gunner Haines” however, tells the local historic legend of Brean Down Fort, when said gunner fired a ball cartridge down a ventilator shaft and blew the fort up, the mystery of why he did it explored in the song.
Like the others songs it has that folk ethos of telling it like it is, often with localised leitmotifs and a throbbing vocal which echoes implication or else an interesting slant on common observation. “I’m a fiercely independent musician,” explains Gaz, “and have recorded all of my previous albums in my home studio, and played all of the instruments myself.”
For this album though he’s stepped up his game, recorded in July 2016 at Ladder Factory Studios in Shrivenham, Samuel Bates as engineer and producer.
Gaz wrote all the songs, played acoustic and electric guitar, and an Omnichord. “But it’s everybody else involved with this album,” he clarifies, “which made it so much better than I could have ever imagined.”
Gaz also bought in “talented musicians I am privileged to call friends.” Chris Webb; electric guitar and the banjitar, Ben Wain; fiddle and backing vocals, Leks Wood; drums, Nick Parker; mandolin and backing vocals, Lukas Drinkwater; bass, and Jon Buckett; keyboard. It was mastered at Valvetastic Studios in Exeter by Jolyon Holroyd. “You might even hear some backing vocals on one song, provided by my good lady wife, Ang,” Gaz informs.
It’s instantly appealing, perhaps the reason why Gaz Brookfield is the only unsigned artist who can currently sell out The Fleece in Bristol. He’s touring relentlessly to back the album, returning to Wilts in February, playing the Victoria in Old Town, Swindon on the 2nd, and Devizes cellar Bar on the 10th.
Gaz knows his place apparently, and if yours can’t be at this gig, let it be driving your car, windows down and this new release ringing out of the speakers.