SINGLE REVIEW: Tom Priestley & Martin Trippett – ‘Sick!’/’Lifeless Culture’


Another pair of songs from Leeds based performance poet and multi-instrumentalist Tom Priestley, and his partner in art Martin Trippett.

‘Sick!’ – The ‘A Side’ – takes a sparse abrasive sound; a sound I’m going to describe as early Fall like. I’d describe it as punk but I’m not of the opinion that The Fall were really a punk band as such. Way too much Krautrock in there for that. Anyway that’s my opinion, feel free to disagree.

The key here is that It’s your basic guitar and drums deployed with a sense of frustration and no little aggression to match the words. The words, delivered with Tom’s usual completely unmistakably Leeds’ thing, speak of a variety of ways you can be sick or sick of things; sick of feeling ill, sick of being hopeless, sick of the eternal time that, I assume, passes by with no variation.

And while the words might speak of frustration. A dose of anger; the way Tom puts those words together has that wry dry as fuck humour I’ve come to expect.

The ‘B Side’ ‘Lifeless Culture’ is less a song and more a poem with musical backing. This makes it no less compelling. The sound is fuller; driving sparse drums, bass and two guitars. One of those guitars provides atmospheric sounds.

The words are a journey through our culture now; that’s culture in a wider sense. How the beauty of the world is drowned out by a tsunami of worthless, well, crap to be honest. It references, at least I think so, social media. The drowning out of proper discussion. The draining of hope. It therefore seems to expand on, or add to, the themes of ‘Sick!’.

While these two tracks might seem to be depressing as hell, they do come with joy; the joy of words put together with craft and art. The thrill of discovering that dark messages can be delivered with words that make you smile.

These are obviously a must if you’ve already discovered the words and music of Priestley and Trippett. If you’ve not done that yet, I suggest that these are a starter for ten, an introduction to them. Words and music in glorious lockstep. Words that tell of now, words that tell of our lives.

The info


Tom Priestley – Vocals and Guitar
Carl Stipetic – Drums and Bass
Produced by Martin Trippett

‘Lifeless Culture’

Tom Priestley – Guitar, Bass and Vocals
Carl Stipetic – Drums
Martin Trippett – Additional Guitar and Producer

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Frank is the website guy for Local Sound Focus. Takes a lot of photos and loves writing about new music.