Purson – Desire’s Magic Theatre


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Those unfamiliar with the sonic charms of Purson may wonder if the glut of praise engulfing the Southend quintet is garnered mainly by mystical talisman Rosalie Cunningham. There’s more than enough retrograde magic oozing from the pores of second album Desire’s Magic Theatre (Spinefarm Records), however, to justify the hype.Steeped in Folk-Pop whimsy, ‘Electric Landlady’s blend of mid-70s Glam and Prog is graced with oscillating organ notes: its wistful melodies leaning towards All About Eve, alongside Cunningham’s Julianne Regan-like plaintiveness. The vocal lines of the Folky, progressive ‘The Sky Parade’ possess that band’s brittle, striking harmonies and evoke their halcyon days beautifully, whilst the body of the track retains an eerie chord structure and pungent atmospheres. ‘The Way It Is’ and ‘Mr Howard’, however, bring comparison with the Indie-Pop of Regan’s short-lived Mice project: despite this, the Psychedelia coursing through the album increases the heavy feel of the latter’s rhythms.

Creativity abounds throughout: ‘Dead Dodo Down’ intersperses circus-style cascades with the brassy quirks of Tori Amos circa Boys For Pele (Atlantic / East West), all underpinned with that heady whiff of patchouli oil. Indeed, it’s not the only nod to the Goddess of Heartbreaking Piano: ‘Pedigree Chums’ remains rooted in the …Pele experimentation, seedy sax embellishing a lazy, hypnotic delivery and Raphael Mura’s mesmeric drum sequences. The languid, swaying ‘The Window Cleaner’ and closer ‘The Bitter Suite’, meanwhile, perfectly embody the retro, ‘60s Hippie’ feel, possessing subtle Eastern progressions and an air of The Doors’ lighter moments. ‘…Suite’ is the most experimental chapter: moving passages accompanied by flute solos and Jazz inflections, whilst the elongated bridge is reminiscent of Bugsy Malone’s introspective scenes.

Nobody, however, can deny the influence of latter-day Beatles on the whole set. The dreamy ‘I Know’, its gently infectious vocal marrying with a ‘Sgt Pepper’-style centrepiece, is the greatest example: but the hallmark is everywhere and, strangely, it’s no bad thing when conducted by such a free, mischievous spirit. Radiating sunshine from even its most melancholy moments, Desire’s Magic Theatre will delight anyone who yearns for that 70s quirkiness to infect their lush, harmonic heaviness.

7.5/10.0

PAUL QUINN

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News: Purson Releasing Desire’s Magic Theatre on March 25th


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Purson will be releasing their next album Desire’s Magic Theatre on March 25, 2016 via Spinefarm Records.

Vocalist/guitarist Rosalie Cunningham commented:

Desire’s Magic Theatre has turned out to be everything I’d imagined and more. My world has been so consumed by it that I’ve barely been able to reflect on what it has become: a technicolor variety show, a playful display of the musical whims only briefly hinted at in our previous work; a psychedelic rock opera dedicated to our good friends Sarge Pepper and Zig Stardust.

The band has an upcoming headline UK tour.

Mar 09: The Louisiana – Bristol (UK)
Mar 10: Rock City – Nottingham (UK)
Mar 11: Waterfront Studio – Norwich (UK)
Mar 12: The Craufurd Arms – Milton Keynes (UK)
Mar 16: 100 Club – London (UK)
Mar 24: The Cavern Club – Exeter (UK)
Mar 25: The Junction – Plymouth (UK)
Mar 26: Joiners – Southampton (UK)
Mar 27: The Hope & Ruin – Brighton (UK)
Mar 30: The Sunflower Lounge – Birmingham (UK)
Mar 31: Night & Day – Manchester (UK)
Apr 01: Audio – Glasgow (UK)
Apr 02: The Brudenell – Leeds (UK)


Hexvessel – Iron Marsh


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The Door To Domestic Bliss – An Interview With Purson


Purson 1 Generally speaking, I’m not too fond of retro rock and metal, but The Circle And The Blue Door by Purson really blew my mind. They are best described as a refreshing blend of progressive rock and pop music with a distinct retro feel. Frontwoman and main composer Rosalie Cunningham was more than happy to share her thoughts on anything Purson, the sudden rise of vintage/occult rock and her fondness for theatrics.Continue reading