Fionn Regan – The Bunkhouse Vol 1: Anchor Black Tattoo

Fionn Regan_Bunkhouse packshot

If you had asked me at the start of this year what artists I would like to hear a new album from in 2013, Fionn Regan would definitely have been somebody I’d have mentioned.  If you had said would you like to hear a record by Fionn Regan that involves nothing more than his voice and guitar, I think I’d probably have chewed your hand off!

‘End of History’ his debut album is still one of my favourite records and seeing him live supporting Midlake with nothing more than his guitar and the odd piece of percussion was something quite special.  2 albums followed ‘End of History’, one where he went full on Dylan and picked up an electric guitar and one more restrained but with various pieces of accompanying instrumentation.  And now this new album returns Regan to where he seems most comfortable and alive – him and his guitar.

Such was Regan’s confidence in the songs that after recording the initial tracks he said “not going to get much better than that” and left them alone.  And to be honest, he was probably spot on with his assessment.  I am not sure how he could have made this collection of songs better.  This is a bare, raw and honest record that showcases his talent as a singer, song-writer and guitarist and confirms his status as one of the most exciting solo artists around.

And yet, he remains relatively unknown.  Whilst he flourishes as a songwriter and consistently produces album of depth and feeling nobody seems to notice.  Nobody really seems to write about him and I just don’t understand why because yet again he has produced a piece of work worthy of discussion and worthy of attention.

Yet, part of me likes that he hasn’t received the acclaim he deserves, or that Lucinda Williams predicted, because he kind of remains unknown and untainted by too many cooks.  He does what he does and what he wants and he does it brilliantly.  Never more so than on tracks like ‘Midnight Ferry Crossing’ or album closer ‘Moving to Berlin’, which are simply gorgeous.  And tracks like ‘Anchor Black Tattoo’ and ‘The Bunkhouse’ feel like they could have been taken straight from his debut.

This is his best effort since his stunning debut without a doubt.  And that’s not belittling the work in between, that’s just pointing out that when Fionn Regan works only with his voice and his acoustic guitar there are not many that can come close to him.

I want to say check him out but part of me wants to keep him for myself.  Still, you’d be a fool not to check out his new album.



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