Haiku Review 2022

This is going to sound an awful lot like local name dropping, but…

 A couple of weeks before Christmas, I popped along to the Black Fen Folk Club to finally catch the wonderful Naomi Randall in concert, accompanied on the evening by Martin Elsey (Tribes of Europe), someone else I was meeting in person for the first time. Subtly adding soundscapes to the ethereal beauty of Naomi’s songs were Xavier Watkins (Fuzzy Lights, Violet Woods) and Keith Somerville (Moonstrips), both of who I managed to have an all too brief chat with. A thoroughly satisfying evening was rounded off with a good old chinwag with Martin over a pale ale, talking music and our apparent shared love of early Steve Martin films.

Also in the audience was Helen Robertson (Goddammit Jeremiah and super sub for no end of bands in the area). I’ve loved Helen ever since I heard her version of Jane Eyre condensed into a thousand mile an hour 2 minute or so pop punk song and, as often happens when we catch up, lighthearted banter ensued. In a previous on-line chat, as I remember, there was the suggestion that swear words in Goddammit Jeremiah songs should be substituted for the word ‘sprouts’ to avoid offending the family audience at Mill Rd Winter Fair. Or something like that. On this occasion, I told Helen how I’d been struggling to keep up with reviewing all the excellent music that had come my way over the preceding months. I joked that maybe I’d do some two-word reviews in order to catch up and she came up with one or two helpful suggestions.

Anyway, once I realised two-word reviews were one of my sillier ideas I quickly dropped it and come up with something even more silly. See, I still had the urge to write something about these albums, especially as it was coming to the end of the year and, for the first time in 10 years or so, there was to be no Smelly Flowerpot albums of the year radio show. So, time being at a premium, I hatched the idea of writing haikus for my favourite albums of 2022. Daft I know, and I promise I’ll try harder in 2023, but here they are anyway. Hopefully, some carefully chosen words will give you a flavour of each release, though to find out you’ll really have to listen to each album. 😊  

A belated Happy New Year to you all.

Belinda Gillett – Fight the Good Fight

Space invading voice

Fills void with airy beauty,

Graceful strum and pick


Katie Spencer – The Edge of the Land

Earthy fireside songs.

Imagine broad canvas with

Sweet honey vocals


Tom Emlyn – News from Nowhere

Guitars seethe and chime,

Welsh style psychedelic rock:

Tense, taut, free, epic.


Danny Short – Not Many Signs Show the Way

Timeless psych pop gems,

Like sixties earworms for now,

Get under your skin

Gemma Rogers – No Place Like Home

Jauntily bouncing,

Street wise, knowing – nudge, nod, wink;

Urban life in song


Agent Starling – Constellation of Birds

Hurdy gurdy, bass?

Euphoric, atmospheric!

Musing, dancing songs.


Michael Weston King – The Struggle

Born of human pain

These songs of inspiration

Claim hope from sadness


Elizabete Balcus – Hotel Universe

Stirring brain aura;

Blurred consciousness elicits

Otherworldly sounds


Ember Rev – Isolophilia

Guitar, squeezebox, voice,

Kaleidoscopic rhythms.

Music with a heart.


Hanterhir – Nyns Eus Denvydth Bys Trest (There is no one to Trust)

Opaque psych post punk,

Add textured folk ambience –

Cornish ecstasy!

Elly Tree – Wallflower

Warm, quirky delight.

Enthusiasm, like Stiff

(Records, not other)


Weimar – Dance on a Volcano

Witty noir vignettes,

Distinctive Wildean words –



Johnny Dowd – Homemade Pie

Evergreen country?

Warped, gothic, slacker, fuzzy –

Voice like ancient rock.


Anyway, before I go I must tell you about some albums coming up this year which I’m more excited about than a man of my age should be. Later this month there’s ‘Cablecar’ by Michelle Bappoo, someone I’ve met once before when she visited the Smelly Flowerpot show with Roy Thirlwall to do a session under the name Art Gruppe. She has a wonderfully warm and inviting voice which I’m immensely looking forward to hearing. In March, there’s a debut full length release from Tape Runs Out, who have also visited the Smelly Flowerpot studio. I’ve heard the album and I kid you not, it is brilliant. Another album due later this year is from Dos Floris (yes, she’s also been in the radio studio for a session). It’s currently away for mastering, but I’ve been lucky enough to hear some, if not all, of the album and it’s up there with all the great break-up albums. Finally, one I haven’t heard yet but I’m eagerly anticipating is a new release from Ruth Theodore. It’s also been mastered, which hopefully means we’ll see it later this year. No surprise, but she’s also been a guest in the studio. It’s served me well that show.   


Author: Smelly Flowerpot

Just a bloke that finds life far more bearable with music. And macadmias. And laughter.

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