Saturday 18 January 2020

Music: David holmes * * * *

The Dogs Are Parading (Universal)

Eamon Sweeney

Eamon Sweeney

This isn't exactly a new David Holmes album or proper follow-up to the sublime 2008 release, The Holy Pictures.

The Dogs are Parading is a timely retrospective of hits, remixes, rarities and spanking new material from one of Ireland's finest ever musical artists.

Kicking off with a newbie entitled The Girlfriend Experience, Holmes immediately asserts his impeccable credentials on a tune that in an ideal world should be a huge summer hit. It's a lazy yet gently funky instrumental, which suggests Holmes is getting even better with age.

Disc one of a whopping value-for-money 29-track collection cherry picks from Holmer's finest cuts from the 90s and Noughties. All these years later, material from his breakthrough second album, Let's Get Killed, still sounds fantastically fresh. It's a reminder of what was an exciting time in music when Radiohead's OK Computer and DJ Shadow's Entroducing heralded an era of new eclecticism after the generic strait-jacket that was Britpop.

69 Police is another sun-kissed classic that makes it almost hard to believe Holmes is still a Belfast boy at heart and resides there by choice, after glamorous stints in Hollywood as Steven Soderbergh's soundtrack composer and compiler of choice.

Disc two is a delight. The quality of remixes from Andrew Weatherall, Kevin Shields, Mogwai and others is superb. The real jewel in the crown is Don't Die Just Yet (Holiday Girl), an Arab Strap composition that totally reworks the original to stunning effect. It's a genuine rarity and I'm delighted it's resurfaced, as I lost my copy years ago!

Rodney Yates will be familiar as the theme music on RTE's The View, while My Mate Paul will remind many listeners just how omnipresent Holmes once was. It's a bewildering shame that this has slipped out with absolutely no fanfare, fuss or a significant push from his record company, perhaps because such compilations often signify the end of an artist's contract.

History will judge Holmes to be one of the finest Irish musical talents of the past 15 years, an argument that The Dogs are Parading conclusively and comprehensively supports.

Burn it: The Girlfriend Experience; Don't Die Just Yet (Holiday Girl); I Hear Wonders (Andrew Weatherall remix); 69 Police

Irish Independent

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