20 November 2016

Foster Pilkington - Listening Land/ The Art Of Being Shy

Label: Arista/ Rockin' Horse
Year of Release: 1986

Two-and-a-half years ago or so, I uploaded an acetate I found of a Foster Pilkington single called "Town of Forgotten Talent". I thought it was an exceptional lost eighties single and I still do - filled with fury about the decimation of numerous towns in the UK at the time, it (sadly) remains topically relevant today. More than that, though, it was a moody and spiky yet elaborate piece of work musically, and sounded fantastic.

That and this single seem to have been Foster Pilkington's only two eighties releases. The latter fell into my hands more recently (for the princely sum of 50p!) and is a slightly tamer effort, though that's not saying much. Despite the fact that it was issued on Arista, it has a distinct indie sound to it, and a sharpness that was very rare on a major label in 1986. The fact that Foster Pilkington appears to have produced, arranged, wrote and sung the track means that he was clearly left alone to be very much his own man, but unlike Prince this isn't funky - it's just agitatedly bouncy, like an aural spacehopper covered in barbed wire coming through your speakers (look, I'm trying here, OK?)

The amount of information about Foster Pilkington online is fairly weak, which is annoying as he remains an active musician and performer. His last LP "The Love That Kills" emerged almost exactly a year ago, and is available on Bandcamp. He's based out in Brightlingsea near Clacton and Colchester these days, and still gigs regularly - clearly one to watch out for.


Arthur Nibble said...

There's some more detail on YouTube. If you type in "Foster Pilkington" you discover his name is actually Stephen Foster-Pilkington. Click on the verbage under the 12 inch of "Talent" and it mentions he was signed to Joe Jackson's management company at one stage, for example.

The Great Gog said...

Rather belatedly catching up on this post. What a great tune - had his record company bothered to send out promos to student radio stations at the time, I would certainly have played this.