Cult Figures Between Us And Heaven

Gare du Nord
10th November 2023

Format Info

LP and limited edition signed poster

Original Midlands post-punks Cult Figures return with their third album Between Us And Heaven, comprising twelve tracks that illustrate the seismic changes both within the band and the world at large since 2021’s critically acclaimed Deritend.

The album sees original guitarist Jon Hodgson, bassist Lee McFadden and drummer Stuart Hilton joined by new members Fraser Gillespie (lead vocals) and Steve May (guitar), as well as contributions from co-founding singer Gary Jones, who tragically lost his life in 2022, and to whose memory the album is dedicated.

Previously a member of Berlin/London electropunks Das Fluff, Steve is also a revered children’s book illustrator. Before joining the band Fraser, an enigmatic Glaswegian poet and bridge builder had little previous recording experience, and had never played a gig in his life! The enthusiasm of both, though, has solidified their essential importance to the line-up in double-quick time, their contributions helping shape the group as a powerful and original live proposition.

Once again the band worked on the album with legendary producer John Rivers (Specials, Paul Weller, Felt) at his Woodbine Street Studio in Leamington Spa – continuing a shared history dating back to Cult Figures’ 1979 debut single (and still popular live favourite) ‘Zip Nolan’, which saw Gary and Jon backed by their influential mentors, Swell Maps.

As well as acknowledging their punk-pop roots on tracks such as ‘Sitting Target’, ‘Unburdened’ and the earworm-inducing ‘Mr Producer’, Cult Figures venture into reflective territory with ‘One False Move’ and foreboding angular imagery with ‘Never Take the Bus’. The title track, meanwhile takes its lyrics from Lieutenant-Commander Thomas Woodrooffe’s landmark/inebriated 1937 radio commentary of the Fleet during King George VI’s coronation – resulting in the origin of the phrase ‘tired and emotional’.

Gary Jones’ posthumous contributions to Between Us And Heaven, include a line of lyric on ‘Mr Producer’, his final set of lyrics on ‘Rapide 40 Slideout’ (featuring a heartfelt rendition by Fraser) and the two excerpts of ‘Battle Of The Beefcakes’ – taken from a 1982 4-track recording where the vast range of voices – (all Gary’s) convincingly replicate a Welsh male voice choir!